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From the painting by P. van Somer in the 
National Portrait Gallery 



With Essays by 

Edited by 


Oxford University Press, Amen House, London E.C.4 





The notes in this volume are based in part on the 
notes in the Clarendon Press editions of the Essays 
by S. H. Reynolds and by A. S. Gaye, The Advance- 
ment of Learning by W. Aldis Wright, and the New 
Atlantis by A. B. Gough 

REPRINTED I923, I924, I927, 1948, I952, I958, I964 



Introduction ..... 
Bacon's Life ..... 
From Macaulay's Essay on Bacon 
From S. R. Gardiner's Article on Bacon 
Personal Estimates .... 

By Ben Jonson .... 

By Thomas Fuller 

By William Rawley 
From Cowley's Ode To the Royal Society 

Selections from Bacon's Writings 

From the Discourse in the Praise of his Sovereign, 1592 


Of Truth .... 

Of Death .... 

Of Adversity 

Of Simulation and Dissimulation 

Of Great Place . 

Of Nobility 

Of Superstition . 

Of Travel .... 

Of Counsel 

Of Wisdom for a Man's Self . 

Of Innovations . 

Of Dispatch 

Of Friendship 

Of the true Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates 

Of Discourse 

Of Ambition 

Of Custom and Education . 

Of Youth and Age 


Of Gardens .... 

Of Negotiating ..... 

Of Studies ...... 

Of Vain Glory ..... 
Of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning 

Objections made to Learning 

Education ...... 

Self and Country 

Words and Matter .... 

The End of Knowledge 

Learning makes for Peace and Order 

Knowledge and Private Virtue 

The Pleasure of Learning 

Acts of Merit towards Learning 

Limitations of Colleges 

Intercourse of Universities . 

Reason, Will, and Imagination 

Memory ...... 

Knowledges as delivered 

Double Nature of Good 

Private and Public Good 

The Affections ..... 

The Good Hours of the Mind 

To prevail in Fortune .... 

Knowledge of Men .... 

The Proportion of Things 

The Prelude Ended .... 
New Atlantis 

The Stranger's House .... 

Salomon's House .... 

History of the Reign of King Henry the Seventh 

Character of King Henry VII 
jS'otes ...... 


Francis Bacon, the youngest child of Sir Nicholas Bacon, 
Lord Keeper under Queen Elizabeth, was born 22nd January 
1561. Going to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1573, he 
stayed there till the end of 1575, and in 1576 entered at 
Gray's Inn. After two years residence in France (1577-9). 
in the suite of the Ambassador, Sir Amyas Paulet, he 
returned to study law and was admitted an Utter Barrister 
in 1582. He entered Parliament in 1584, and for the rest of 
his life was closely interested in politics and in procuring his 
own advancement, first through Lord Burghley, who had 
married his mother's sister, and then through the Earl 
of Essex, with whom he was associated for some years 
as a close friend and counsellor. But when Essex, after his 
failure in Ireland, turned in desperation against the Queen's 
advisers, and was seized and arraigned for high treason. 
Bacon took an active part in the prosecution. Even before 
the fall of Essex, Bacon had been cultivating the friendship 
of Sir Robert Cecil, Burghley's son, who became Earl of 
» Salisbury in 1603, and he adhered to him until his death 
in 1612. Bacon's progress, notwithstanding, was slow. 
Knighted in 1603, he was made Solicitor-General in 1607, 
but his repeated efforts to become Attorney-General did 
not succeed until 1613. From this time onwards he applied 
himself successively to James and his two favourites, 
Rochester and Buckingham, through whom he sought the 
King's countenance and support. He became Lord Keeper 
in 1617, and in 1618 Lord Chancellor with a peerage as 
Baron Verulam. In January 1621 he was made Viscount 
St. Albans, and then, with startling suddenness in March 


of the same year, was accused of taking bribes in his 
official capacity. He met the charges which followed by 
a humble submission and confession, and was found guilty 
by the House of Lords. His own judgement on himself 
was the famous sentence (written in cipher), ' I was the 
justest judge that was in England these fifty years, but it 
was the justest sentence in Parliament that was these two 
hundred years.' 

In judicature andinpolitics, asin philosophy, he was cursed 
with the fate of one trying to make the best of two worlds. 
With a recognition of the necessity of Parliament he com- 
bined a profound beUef in the King's prerogative : with a 
strong sense of efficiency, which made him anxious to codify 
the law and which enabled him rapidly as Chancellor to 
clear off arrears, he yet continued the fatal custom of taking 
presents as a judge and of listening to the recommendations 
of his patron. The position was an impossible one, and 
when confronted with an attack against which it was clear 
that the King would give him no support, he made no 
attempt at defence, and accepted his fate. With remark- 
able elasticity and hopefulness he contrived to live on, 
husbanding his ruined fortunes and pursuing the studies 
to which he had hoped, until his fall came, to give the 
support and prestige of his great position. The literary 
output of these years shows what he might have achieved 
had not so much of his life been spent on fruitless sohcitation 
and intrigue. If we are disposed to take a harsh view of his 
character we shall do well to bear in mind some considera- 
tions which may mitigate our judgement. The temptations 
of his age were not those of ours. The persistent cultivation 
of the friendship of the great, from which we are inclined 
to recoil, is not a graver fault than the flattery of a party or 
a class which besets the pushing pohtician of to-day, and 
the abandonment of an old friend in time of danger wore 
a less repulsive aspect to an age in which 'Fortuna and 
Virtu' were recognized as the sole determining factors 


in public life. It was an age in which all statesmen lived 
dangerously, and when the Tower and the scaffold were 
famihar incidents in a State whose government had but 
recently become stable and secure, where persons still 
counted for more than parties, and plots and coimter-plots 
had not yet been superseded by the more peaceful methods 
of party pohcy. It should also never be forgotten that, 
whatever may be thought of the great Chancellor, his 
closest and most intimate friends, Rawley, his chaplain, 
and Sir Toby Matthew, who knew his inmost mind, never 
faltered in their admiration. 

There are some historians who think that Bacon's advice, 
had it been followed, might have saved England from civil 
war. Lawyers are agreed in placing him high among the 
series of Chancellors.^ ilen of science, though they may 
make light of his methods, do not hesitate to applaud the 
spirit and stimulus of his writing. Tp the plain man, 
impatient of poUcies and distrustful of logic, he will always 
appeal as a master of English style, and a man of courage 
who in the hour of adversity turned to a new field of work, 
and who to the end remained faithful to the researches 
which in the quieter moments even of his crowded earlier 
days he believed to be the main business of his life. 


The tragedy of Francis Bacon's hfe, the contrast between 
his high ideals and his shortcomings in friendship and 
honour, the controversy over his character which the older 
among us can remember in the eighties,'^ may for a time 
have diverted men's minds from his greatness as a master 
of English. Like another great man of letters, with whom 
Lord Macaulay has compared him, he lived at the meeting 
of an old world and a new, and failed to reconcile their ideas. 

' Dr. Abbott's Bacon and Essex and Francis Bacon, 1885 ; Dean 
Church's Bacon, 1884 ; T. Fowler, Bacon, 1881 ; Gardiner's article 
in the Dictionary of National Biography , 1884. 


Like Cicero he left in his correspondence and private 
memoranda a wealth of evidence on the movements of his 
mind, which supply a full record of his importunate ambi- 
tions, and put him at a disadvantage with the world. 
A more reticent nature would have given less handle to 
critics. But when all such allowance has been made there 
must remain a sense of disquiet and distress in the mind of 
those who admire Bacon as a writer, to think that so great 
a master of the glory of words, so eloquent a prophet of the 
new world in which ' many shall go to and fro and knowledge 
shall be increased ' , proved himself so supple a time-server. 
The very complexity of his character has its attraction, 
and the psychological problem of ' the wisest, brightest, 
meanest of mankind ' will continue to engage the attention 
of historians and philosophers. 

The desire to perpetuate his fame in Latin is typical of 
his whole life. The contemporary of Shakespeare and 
Raleigh, thrilled like them by the quick current of new life 
and by the expanded vision that belongs to that age of 
exploration and discovery, he was but half enfranchised 
from the influences of an earlier age. The critic of Aristotle, 
he still moves among phrases and formulae, ' axioms ' and 
'forms', which suggest the language of the Schoolmen. 
A writer of stately and nervous English, eager to break new 
ground, and conscious of the greatness of his country, he 
cannot understand that his fame will be more secure in 
English than in Latin.^ A preacher of experiment and 
research, full of enthusiasm for discovery, he never succeeds 
in stating clearly and convincingly the new method which 
is to revolutionize the world of knowledge. Living, as 
Dr. Abbott has pointed out, in an age which produced 
Napier's Logarithmic Tables (1614), GaUleo's thermometer 
and telescope, Gilbert's On the Magnet — the contemporary 
of Tycho Brahe and of Kepler, he was singularly out of 

> Letter to Sir Toby Matthew (1623) ; $,ee Khhott's Francis Bacon, 
p. 454. 


touch with the actual discoveries of his time. He is still 
curiously fettered by the intellectual mechanism of the 
older world. It seems to us sometimes that he was too 
ready to believe that the process of discovery is a simple 
thing if only the new method be mastered and rigorously 
applied_to a complete collection of recorded facts, a new 
Natural Hislofy;^ It might seem that he had not enough 
close experience of scientific inquiry to understand that the 
progress of discovery cannot be tied down to any mechanical 
method and that the insight which enables the discoverer 
to put the whole complex matter of his subject in a new 
light is something beyond rules, and like all works of genius, 
operates by a creative intuition which no mere analysis can 
supply. But of this we must leave men of science and 
philosophers to judge. The Earl of Balfour, who, hke Bacon, 
has combined philosophic speculation and high affairs of 
State, concludes : ' I do not think that any one who really 
tries to make out what Bacon meant by his Prerogative 
Instances and his Analogies will either deny that he believed 
in the unity of nature and in our power of co-ordinating its 
multitudinous details, or will suppose that he underrated 
the helps which the imagination, and only the imagination, 
can give to him who is absorbed in the great task.' ^ 

His philosophical works, which he regarded as all form- 
ing part of his ' Instauratio Magna', the great Renewal of 
Science, were indeed fragmentary and incomplete. Only 
portions of the parts into which Bacon contemplated 
dividing it were published : Part I is represented by 
the De Augmentis, an enlargement of TJie Advancement of 
Learmng, alresLdy published in^nghsh, which was intended 
to describe what had been done and what remained to be 
done in the various sciences : Part II, mainly by the Novum 
Organum, the greatest of Bacon's philosophical works, 
describing the new method, but incompletely : Part III, by 
the Historia Naturalis and by scattered and fragmentary 

• Essays Specitlaiive and Political, p. 157. 


Latin works, among them the Sylva Sylvarum, to which the 
New Atlatifis may be regarded as an appendage : Parts 
IV and V, only by slight prefaces in Latin : of Part VI, 
Philosophia Secunda, sive Scientia Activa, he says, ' I have 
given up all hope, but it may be that the ages and posterity 
will make it flourish.' ^ 

If Bacon did not discover a new method, it remains true 
that by the eloquent and inspiring language in which he 
laid down the vital importance of experiment and of the 
study of things instead of words, and by the noble conception 
he made current of what science might accomplish if 
pursued with enthusiasm and promoted by combined 
effort, he gave an incalculable stimulus to the progress 
of thought and experiment in England and in Europe. 


Apart from his correspondence and from his technical 
writings on law. Bacon exercised his gifts as a writer in 
three main fields : in his Essays, in his philosophical works, 
represented in English by The Advancement of Learning, 
and in his History of Henry VII. 

The Essays have won him a place apart, and are the 
source of his fame with the world at large. They introduce 
a new form of composition into Enghsh literature, which was 
destined to have a varied and fruitful development. They 
are also, in a sense, a record of Bacon's outlook on the world 
throughout the years of his active life. The shm volume of 
ten essays, published in 1597, grew to thirty-eight in the 
edition of 1612, and to fifty-eight in the final edition of 1625, 
and many of the essays were amphfied as time went on. 
Though they seem to take their title from Montaigne'sEssaw, 
published in 1580, they have little in common with them, ex- 
cept that both books consist of notes on life and human 
nature by a man of the world. They are ' Certain brief 

' Fowler, Novum Organum, pp. 6 i5f. 


notes, set down rather significantly than curiously, which I 
have called Essays. The word is late, but the thing is ancient . 
For Seneca's Epistles to Lucilius, if one mark them well, 
are but Essays, that is dispersed meditations, though con- 
veyed in the form of Epistles.' ^ Dr. Abbott ^ brings them 
into relation with the Antitheta, or 'Opposite Maxims', de- 
scribed in De Atigmcntis VI. 3, — ' commonplaces ' contracted 
' into certain acute and concise sentences, to be as skeins or 
bottoms of thread which may be unwinded at large when 
they are wanted ' They are much more concentrated and 
concise than Montaigne's Essais. The charm of Montaigne 
is that of shrewd but inconsequent comments on men and 
things set out at leisure by a humane and open-eyed 
observer. Bacon's Essays represent rather the reflections 
of a politic player of the game of life summed up in short, 
pregnant sayings that strike the imagination and cling to 
the memory. The effect of the one is a diffused humEinity, 
of the other an insight into human nature, pointed with a 
consummate mastery of single words and phrases. If we 
try to find in them the history of Bacon's inner life we are 
disappointed. The Essays are naturally affected by the 
events of the time and reflect its outward features : the 
Buildings and Gardens are in the grand manner of the great 
nobles : the Masks are such as Bacon, always in debt, was 
cheerfully able to produce in order to gratify the King's 
Favourite : the kingdoms and the politics are those of his 
own or of the Graeco-Roman world. His reflections on 
public policy take the colour of his age. They have some- 
thing of the hardness and disregard of moral considera- 
tions which Machiavelli did much to make current in the 
century following the publication of his II Principe. To 
Bacon, as to the Italian, life is very much a question of 
Fortuna and of Virtu, the power which lies in skill and 
sheer ability unfettered by morals. But, though many 
essays may be suggested by Bacon's experience, they 

' Dedication to Prince Henry. * Francis Bacon, p. 436. 


contain little personal revelation ; they are for the most 
part detached and impersonal, and there is nothing in 
them to mark the tragedy of his life. 

The two books of The Advancement of Learning- were the 
first contribution made by Bacon on a large scale to his 
great philosophical enterprise. This and the New Atlantis 
give his view of the achievements and defects of learning 
in the past, and of the way in which organized effort may 
supply the gap. If the New Atlantis did not directly 
originate the Royal Society, it helped at least to create the 
atmosphere in which that great institution took its birth. 
It combines the charm of narrative with lucid exposition 
of an ideal of co-operation in scientific work which should 
transcend the bounds of individual or national life. 

The History of Henry VII, begun very soon after Bacon 
was released from the Tower in 1621 and completed in a few 
months, is a great achievement. Like the Essays it marks 
a new departure in English literature, for in it we pass at 
once from the region of mere chronicle to the modern 
conception of history. The masterly lines on which the 
character of Henry is drawn and the clear presentment of 
the moving forces and personalities of the time give it a 
high place both as history and as literature. 

The qualities of Bacon's English style vary with his 
works, but in all there is unmistakable distinction and force. 
In passages where the final edition of the Essays is enlarged 
beyond the earliest draft it will be found (e. g. in the essay 
Of Kingdoms and Estates) that not only is the subject more 
fully illustrated, but that, while the general tone is un- 
changed, the sentences have acquired an ampler sweep and 
a richer cadence. They have lost something of the severe 
conciseness of their first form, but still retain their earlier 
characteristics — the appeal to the Bible and to classical 
literature, the sure touch of the man of affairs familiar 
with the springs of poUcy and personal ambition, the terse 
phrasing and lively images which drive the meaning 


home. Two qualities alone may here be touched on : his 
simplicity and directness of approach, and the fine imagina- 
tion which illuminates a simple thought till it is trans- 
figured with a new meaning. The essay Of Great Place 
begins at once, ' Men in great place are thrice servants ' : 
could anything be more arresting ? In the essay Of Truth 
he starts with the light of Creation and then, ' First he 
breathed light upon the face of the matter or chaos ; then 
he breathed light into the face of man ; and still he breatheth 
and inspireth hght into the face of his chosen ' : and then, 
as though the heavenly light had suggested to him the 
answering movement of the spheres, he concludes a little 
further on : ' Certainly, it is heaven upon earth, to have a 
man's mind move in charity, rest in providence, and turn 
upon the poles of truth.' It is in such noble prose as this, 
rather than in his metrical versions of the Psalms, that 
Bacon the poet is discovered. 

The Advancement of Learning has much in common with 
the Essays : like them it shows in its classical and biblical 
allusions how careful a use Bacon made of his common- 
place book. Here and there the writing is reUeved now 
by vivid images, and again by more homely sentences which 
appeal to the plain man. ' The true rehgion is built upon 
the rock ; the rest are tossed upon the waves of time.' 
' But it is in life as it is in ways, the shortest way is 
commonly the foulest, and surely the fairer way is not 
round about.' ' This great building of the world had never 
through-lights made in it till the age of us and our fathers.' 
Such passages come very near the style of the Essays, but 
the general structure is on a larger scale and in a more 
formal manner. The writing gets its dignity and colour 
from the elevation of thought, the wealth of illustration, 
and the effective way in which the argument at each stage 
closes with a brief sentence summing up the sense, and often 
enforced by a quotation from the Latin of the Classics or of 
the Vulgate, or more rarely from some Italian writer. The 


passages quoted above show Bacon's command of con- 
centrated and simple English, but his subject naturally 
lends itself to the use of purely Latin words, some of which, 
' coartation', ' adeption', ' redargution ' , have failed to 
establish themselves in the language. But such phrases 
as ' copulate and conjoined and collegiate ' in the essay on 
Custom show what weighty use he can make of Latin com- 
pounds. The music of his rhythm is in general of a more 
subtle kind, showing a firm control of the disciplined sound 
of words, and the ordered balance of clauses. 

In the History of Henry VII, one of the last products of 
Bacon's genius, his forcible phrasing is at its best. There 
is the same clearness of thought and wealth of ideas, 
combined with a vivid command of language and concise 
expression. ' Whereupon the king gave him his pardon, 
but either willing to leave a cloud upon him or the better 
to make him feel his grace, produced him openly to plead 
his pardon. This wrought in the Earl, as in a haughty 
stomach it useth to do. For the ignominy printed deeper 
than the grace.' Here is no failure of force in old age : 
words and rhythm fit the thought aright and make it tell. 

There is something at once monumental and humane in 
the closing words of the History • 

' He was born at Pembroke Castle, and lieth buried at 
Westminster, in one of the stateliest and daintiest monuments 
of Europe, both for the chapel and for the sepulchre. So that 
he dwelleth more richly dead in the monument of his tomb 
than he did alive in Richmond or any of his palaces. I 
could wish he did the like in this monument of his fame.' 

The man of broken fortune who could write with this 
serene command in the hour of adversity had rare gifts of 
character and style, which may weigh against the failings 
of the ambitious spirit in which a noble ideal of learning and 
science was so inextricably blended with the instinct and 
the arts of self-advancement. 


1 561. Francis Bacon bom at York House, London (22 January). 

1573-5. -^t Trinity College, Cambridge. 

1576. Member of Gray's Inn. 

1577-9. In France in the suite of the English Ambassador. Returns 
on the death of his father. Sir Nicholas Bacon. 

1 5 82 . Admitted as utter barrister. 

1584. Enters Parliament: elected for Melcombe Regis (1584), for 
Taunton (1586), for Liverpool (1588), for Middlesex (1593), 
for Ipswich (1597), for Ipswich and St. Albans (iCoi and 
1604), for Ipswich, St. Albans, and Cambridge University 

1592. Discourse in the Praise of his Sovereign. 

1 594. First appearance as a pleader in court. 

1597. Assays published. 

1601. Trial of Essex and Southampton. Draws up A Declaration 
of the Practises and Treasons of Robert, late Earl of Essex. 

1603. Knighted by James I. 

1604. Appointed King's Counsel. 

1605. The Advancement of Learning. 

1606. Marries Alice Bamham. 

1607. Made Solicitor-General. 

1608. Succeeds to the Clerkship of the Star Chamber. 
i6i2. Essays (second edition). 

1613. Made Attorney-General. 

1616. Made Privy Councillor. 

1617. Made Lord Keeper. 

1618. Made Lord Chancellor (4 January). Created Baron Verulam 

(9 July). 

1620. Novum Organum published (October). 

1621. Created Viscount St. Alban (27 January). Sentenced by the 

House of Lords (3 May). 

1622. History of Henry F// published. 

1623. De Augmentis Scientiarum libri IX. 

1624. Apophthegms New and Old. 

1625. Essays (third edition). 

1626. Dies at Highgate (9 April). 

1627. Sylva Sylvarum published, containing New Atlantis. 


of Bacon's mind seems to us to have been absolutely perfect. 
He was at once the Mammon and the Surly of his friend Ben. 
Sir Epicure did not indulge in visions more magnificent and 
gigantic. Surly did not sift evidence with keener and more 
sagacious incredulity. 

Closely connected with this peculiarity of Bacon's temper 
was a striking pecuharity of his understanding. With great 
minuteness of observation, he had an amplitude of compre- 
hension such as has never yet been vouchsafed to any other 

lo human being. The small fine mind of Labruyere had not 
a more delicate tact than the large intellect of Bacon. The 
Essays contain abundant proofs that no nice feature of 
character, no peculiarity in the ordering of a house, a garden, 
or a court-masque, could escape the notice of one whose 
mind was capable of taking in the whole world of knowledge. 
His understanding resembled the tent which the fairy 
Paribanou gave to Prince Ahmed. Fold it ; and it seemed 
a toy for the hand of a lady. Spread it ; and the armies 
of powerful Sultans might repose beneath its shade. 

20 In keenness of observation he has been equalled, though 
perhaps never surpassed. But the largeness of his mind 
was all his own. The glance with which he surveyed the 
intellectual universe resembled that which the Archangel, 
from the golden threshold of heaven, darted down into the 
new creation. 

Round he surveyed, — and well might, where he stood 
So high above the circling canopy 
Of night's extended shade, — from eastern point 
Of Libra, to the fleecy star which bears 
30 Andromeda far off Atlantic seas 
Beyond the horizon. 

His knowledge differed from that of other men, as a 
terrestrial globe differs from an Atlas which contains a differ- 
ent country on every leaf. The towns and roads of England, 
France, and Germany are better laid down in the Atlas than 


on the globe. But while we are looking at England we see 
nothing of France ; and while we are looking at France we 
see nothing of Germany. We may go to the Atlas to learn 
the bearings and distances of York and Bristol, or of Dresden 
and Prague. But it is useless if we want to know the bear- 
ings and distances of France and Martinique, or of England 
and Canada. On the globe we shall not find all the market 
towns in our own neighbourhood ; but we shall learn from 
it the comparative extent and the relative position of all 
the kingdoms of the earth. ' I have taken,' said Bacon, in ic 
a letter written when he was only thirty-one, to his uncle 
Lord Burleigh, ' I have taken all knowledge to be my 
province.' In any other young man, indeed in any other 
man, this would have been a ridiculous flight of presump- 
tion. There have been thousands of better mathematicians, 
astronomers, chemists, physicians, botanists, mineralogists 
than Bacon. No man would go to Bacon's works to learn 
any particular science or art, any more than he would go 
to a twelve-inch globe in order to find his way from Kenning- 
ton turnpike to Clapham Common. The art which Bacon 2c 
taught was the art of inventing arts. The knowledge in 
which Bacon excelled all men was a knowledge of the mutual 
relations of all departments of knowledge. 

The mode in which he communicated his thoughts was 
peculiar to him. He had no touch of that disputatious 
temper which he often censured in his predecessors. He 
effected a vast intellectual revolution in opposition to a vast 
mass of prejudices ; yet he never engaged in any contro- 
versy : nay, we cannot at present recollect, in all his philoso- 
phical works, a single passage of a controversial character. 3< 
All those works might with propriety have been put into 
the form which he adopted in the work entitled Cogitata 
et visa: ' Franciscus Baconus sic cogitavit.' These are 
thoughts which have occurred to me : weigh them well : 
and take them or leave them. 
B 2 


Borgia said, of the famous expedition of Charles the 
Eighth, that the French had conquered Italy, not with 
steel, but with chalk ; for that the only exploit which they 
had found necessary for the purpose of taking mihtary 
occupation of any place had been to mark the doors of the 
houses where they meant to quarter. Bacon often quoted 
this saying, and loved to apply it to the victories of his own 
intellect.! jjjg philosophy, he said, came as a guest, not as 
an enemy. She found no difficulty in gaining admittance, 

to without a contest, into every understanding fitted, by its 
structure and by its capacity, to receive her. In all this 
we think that he acted most judiciously ; first, because, 
as he has himself remarked, the difference between his 
school and other schools was a difference so funda- 
mental that there was hardly any common ground on 
which a controversial battle could be fought ; and, 
secondly, because his mind, eminently observant, pre- 
eminently discursive and capacious, was, we conceive, 
neither formed by nature nor disciphned by habit for 

20 dialectical combat. 

Though Bacon did not arm his philosophy with the 
weapons of logic, he adorned her profusely with all the 
decorations of rhetoric. His eloquence, though not un- 
tainted with the vicious taste of his age, would alone have 
entitled him to a high rank in literature. He had a wonder- 
ful talent for packing thought close, and rendering it 
portable. In wit, if by wit be meant the power of perceiv- 
ing analogies between things which appear to have nothing 
in common, he never had an equal, not even Cowley, not 

30 even the author of Hudibras. Indeed, he possessed this 
faculty, or rather this faculty possessed him, to a morbid 
degree. When he abandoned himself to it without reserve 
as he did in the Sapientia Veterum, and at the end of the 
second book of the De Augmeniis, the feats which he per- 
1 Novum Organum, Lib. i. Aph. 35, and elsewhere. 


formed were not merely admirable, but portentous, and 
almost shocking. On those occasions we marvel at him as 
clowns on a fair-day marvel at a juggler, and can hardly 
help thinking that the devil must be in him. 

These, however, were freaks in which his ingenuity now 
and then wantoned, with scarcely any other object than to 
astonish and amuse. But it occasionally happened that, 
when he was engaged in grave and profound investigations, 
his wit obtained the mastery over all his other faculties, 
and led him into absurdities into which no dull man could ic 
possibly have fallen . We will give the most striking instance 
which at present occurs to us. In the third book of the De 
Augmentis he teUs us that there are some principles which 
are not peculiar to one science, but are common to several. 
That part of philosophy which concerns itself with these 
principles is, in his nomenclature, designated as philosophia 
prima. He then proceeds to mention some of the principles 
with which this philosophia prima is conversant. One of 
them is this. An infectious disease is more likely to be 
communicated while it is in progress than when it has 2c 
reached its height. This, says he, is true in medicine. It is 
also true in morals ; for we see that the example of very 
abandoned men injures public morality less than the 
example of men in whom vice has not yet extinguished all 
good qualities. Again, he tells us that in music a discord 
ending in a concord is agreeable, and that the same thing 
may be noted in the affections. Once more, he tells us 
that in physics the energy with which a principle acts is 
often increased by the antiperistasis of its opposite ; and 
that it is the same in'the contests of factions. If the making 3c 
of ingenious and sparkhng similitudes like these be indeed 
the philosophia prima, we are quite sure that the greatest 
philosophical work of the nineteenth century is Mr. Moore's 
Lalla Rookh. The similitudes which we have cited are very 
happy similitudes. But that a man like Bacon should have 


taken them for more, that he should have thought the 
discovery of such resemblances as these an important part 
of philosophy, has always appeared to us one of the most 
singular facts in the history of letters. 

The truth is that his mind was wonderfully quick in 
perceiving analogies of all sorts. But, Hke several eminent 
men whom we could name, both living and dead, he some- 
times appeared strangely deficient in the power of distin- 
guishing rational from fanciful analogies, analogies which 

lo are arguments from analogies which are mere illustrations, 
analogies like that which Bishop Butler so ably pointed 
out, between natural and revealed religion, from analogies 
like that which Addison discovered, between the series 
of Grecian gods carved by Phidias and the series of Enghsh 
kings painted by Kneller. This want of discrimination has 
led to many strange political speculations. Sir William 
Temple deduced a theory of government from the properties 
of the pyramid. Mr. Southey's whole system of finance is 
grounded on the phenomena of evaporation and rain. In 

20 theology, this perverted ingenuity has made still wilder 
work. From the time of Irenaeus and Origen down to the 
present day, there has not been a single generation in which 
great divines have not been led into the most absurd exposi- 
tions of Scripture, by mere incapacity to distinguish analogies 
proper, to use the scholastic phrase, from analogies meta- 
phorical.i It is curious that Bacon has himself mentioned 
this very kind of delusion among the idola specus ; and has 
mentioned it in language which, we are inclined to think, 
shows that he knew himself to be subject to it. It is the 

30 vice, he tells us, of subtle minds to attach too much impor- 
tance to slight distinctions ; it is the vice, on the other hand, 
of high and discursive intellects to attach too much impor- 
tance to slight resemblances ; and he adds that, when this 

> See some interesting remarks on this subject in Bishop Berkeley's 
Minute Philosopher, Dialogus IV. 


last propensity is indulged, to excess, it leads men to catch 
at shadows instead of substances.^ 

Yet we cannot wish that Bacon's wit had been less 
luxuriant. For, to say nothing of the pleasure which it 
affords, it was in the vast majority of cases employed for 
the purpose of making obscure truth plain, of making 
repulsive truth attractive, of fixing in the mind for ever 
truth which might otherwise have left but a transient im- 

The poetical faculty was powerful in Bacon's mind, but 10 
not, like his wit, so powerful as occasionally to usurp the 
place of his reason, and to tyrannize over the whole man. 
No imagination was ever at once so strong and so thoroughly 
subjugated. It never stirred but at a signal from good sense. 
It stopped at the first check from good sense. Yet, though 
disciplined to such obedience, it gave noble proofs of its 
vigour. In truth, much of Bacon's life was passed in a 
visionary world, amidst things as strange as any that are 
described in the Arabian Tales, or in those romances on 
which the curate and barber of Don Quixote's village per- 20 
formed so cruel an auto-da-fe, amidst buildings more sump- 
tuous than the palace of Aladdin, fountains more wonderful 
than the golden water of Parizade, conveyances more rapid 
than the hippogryph of Ruggiero, arms more formidable 
than the lance of Astolfo, remedies more efficacious than 
the balsam of Fierabras. Yet in his magnificent day-dreams 
there was nothing wild, nothing but what sober reason 
sanctioned. He knew that all the secrets feigned by poets 
to have been written in the books of enchanters are worth- 
less when compared with the mighty secrets which are really 3c 
written in the book of nature, and which, with time and 
patience, will be read there. He knew that all the wonders 
wrought by all the talismans in fable were trifles when 
compared to the wonders which might reasonably be ex- 

^ Novum Organum, Lib. i. Aph. 5;. 


pected from the phflosophy ol fruit, and that, if his words 
sank deep into the Eiind; cf men, they would prc-duce eae^ris 
such a5 sopeistition had never ascribed to the incantations 
of MerUn and Michael Scott. It was here mat he loved to 
let his imagination loose. He loved to picture to hiin5cli tte 
world as it wosld be when Ms philoa^piiy she .lid, in his own 
noWe phrase, ' have enlarged the bounds of hnman empire ' ^ 
We might refer to manv instances. But we will content 
O-Ticlves with the stronf—t. the description of the House 

lo of S-?Iomon in the X-szr Atlantis. By most of Bacon's con- 
temporari^, and bv some people of oar time, this re ~ ~.ark- 
able passage wDuld, we donbt not. be considered as an 
ingenious rodomontade, a counterpart to the adventures 
of Sinbad or Baron Munchausen. The truth is. that there 
is not to be foTmd in any human composition a passage more 
eminently distinguished by profound and serene wisdom. 
The boldness and originality of the fiction is far less wcmder- 
f nl than the nice discernment which carefuUy esiciuded fnmi 
that long hst of prodigies everything that can be pronounced 

;d impossible, ever\-thing that can be proved to lie beymid 
th-^ mighty magic of indTiction and time. Alreadv some 
parts, and not the least siartlmg parts, of this glorions 
prophecy ha^"e been accomplished, even according to the 
letter ; and the whole, construed according to the spirit, 
is daily accomplishing aH around us. 

One of the most remarkable circumstances in the history 
of Bacon's mind is the order in which its powers expanded 
themselves. With him the fruit came first and remained 
till the last ; the blossoms did not appear till late. In 

30 general, the development of the fancy is to the developmoit 
of the judgement what the growth of a girl is to the srowth 
of a boy. The fancy attains at an earUer period to the 
jyerfection of its beauty, its power, and its imitfulness : 
and, as it is first to ripen, it is also first to fade. It has 
> JNVx AsUattis. 


generally lost something of its bloom and freshness before 
the sterner faculties have reached maturity ; and is common- 
ly withered and barren while those faculties still retain all 
their energy. It rarely happens that the fancy and the 
judgement grow together. It happens still more rarely that 
the judgement grows faster than the fancy. This seems, 
however, to have been the case with Bacon. His boyhood 
and youth appear to have been singularly sedate. His 
gigantic scheme of philosophical reform is said by some 
writers to have been planned before he was fifteen, and was ic 
undoubtedly planned while he was still young. He observed 
as vigilantly, meditated as deeply, and judged as tem- 
perately when he gave his first work to the world as at the 
close of his long career. But in eloquence, in sweetness 
and variety of expression, and in richness of illustration, 
his later writings are far superior to those of his youth. In 
this respect the history of his mind bears some resemblance 
to the history of the mind of Burke. The treatise on the 
Sublime and Beautiful, though written on a subject which 
the coldest metaphysicicui could hardly treat without being 2c 
occasionally betrayed into florid writing, is the most un- 
adorned of all Burke's works. It appeared when he was 
twenty-five or twenty-six. When, at forty, he wrote the 
Thoughts on the Causes of the Present Discontents, his reason 
and his judgement had reached their full maturity ; but his 
eloquence was still in its splendid dawn. At fifty, his 
rhetoric was quite as rich as good taste would permit ; and 
when he died, at almost seventy, it had become ungracefully 
gorgeous. In his youth he wrote on the emotions produced 
by mountains and cascades, by the masterpieces of painting 3c 
and sculpture, by the faces and necks of beautiful women, 
in the style of a Parliamentary report. In his old age he 
discussed treaties and tariffs in the most fervid and brilliant 
language of romance. It is strange that the Essay on the 
Sublime and Beautiful, and the Letter to a Noble Lord, should 


be the productions of one man. But it is far more strange 
that the Essay should have been a production of his youth, 
and the Letter of his old age. 

We will give very short specimens of Bacon's two styles. 
In 1597, he wrote thus : ' Crafty men contemn studies ; 
simple men admire them : and wise men use them ; for 
they teach not their own use : that is a wisdom without 
them, and won by observation. Read not to contradict, nor 
to believe, but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be 

10 tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed 
and digested. Reading maketh a full man, conference a 
ready man, and writing an exact man. And therefore if a 
man write little, he had need have a great memory ; if he 
confer little, have a present wit ; and if he read little, have 
much cunning to seem to know that he doth not. Histories 
make men wise, poets witty, the mathematics subtle, natural 
philosophy deep, morals grave, logic and rhetoric able to 
contend.' It will hardly be disputed that this is a passage 
to be ' chewed and digested '. We do not believe that 

^o Thucydides himself has anywhere compressed so much 
thought into so small a space. 

In the additions which Bacon afterwards made to the 
Essays, there is nothing superior in truth or weight to what 
we have quoted. But his style was constantly becoming 
richer and softer. The following passage, first pubhshed 
in 1625, will show the extent of the change ; ' Prosperity 
is the blessing of the Old Testament ; adversity is the bless- 
ing of the New, which carrieth the greater benediction and 
the clearer evidence of God's favour. Yet, even in the 

30 Old Testament, if you listen to David's harp you shall hear 
as many hearse-like airs as carols ; and the pencil of the 
Holy Ghost hath laboured more in describing the afflictions 
of Job than the fehcities of Solomon. Prosperity is not 
without many fears and distastes ; and adversity is not 
without comforts and hopes. We see in needleworks and 


embroideries it is more pleasing to have a lively work upon 
a sad and solemn ground, than to have a dark and melan- 
choly work upon a lightsome ground. Judge therefore 
of the pleasure of the heart by the pleasure of the eye. 
Certainly virtue is like precious odours, most fragrant when 
they are incensed or crushed ; for prosperity doth best 
discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.' 

It is by the Essays that Bacon is best known to the 
multitude. The Novum Organum and the De Augmentis 
are much talked of, but little read. They have produced : 
indeed a vast effect on the opinions of mankind ; but they 
have produced it through the operation of intermediate 
agents. They have moved the intellects which have moved 
the world. It is in the Essays alone that the mind of Bacon 
is brought into immediate contact with the minds of ordi- 
nary readers. There he opens an exoteric school, and talks 
to plain men, in language which everybody understands, 
about things in which everybody is interested. He has thus 
enabled those who must otherwise have taken his merits 
on trust to judge for themselves ; and the great body of : 
readers have, during several generations, acknowledged 
that the man who has treated with such consummate ability 
questions with which they are f amihar may well be supposed 
to deserve all the praise bestowed on him by those who have 
sat in his inner school. 

Without any disparagement to the admirable treatise, 
De Augmentis, we must say that, in our judgement. Bacon's 
greatest performance is the first book of the Novum Organum. 
AU the peculiarities of his extraordinary mind are found 
there in the highest perfection. Many of the aphorisms, , 
but particularly those in which he gives examples of 
the influence of the idola, show a nicety of observation that 
has never been surpassed. Every part of the book blazes 
with wit, but with wit which is employed only to illustrate 
and decorate truth. No book ever made so great a revolu- 


tion in the mode of thinking, overthrew so many prejudices, 
introduced so many new opinions. Yet no book was ever 
written in a less contentious spirit. It truly conquers with 
chalk and not with steel. Proposition after proposition 
enters into the mind, is received not as an invader, but as 
a welcome friend, and, though previously unknown, becomes 
at once domesticated. But what we admire most is the 
vast capacity of that intellect which, without effort, takes 
in at once all the domains of science, all the past, the present, 

lo and the future, all the errors of two thousand years, all the 
encouraging signs of the passing times, all the bright hopes 
of the coming age. Cowley, who was among the most 
ardent, and not among the least discerning followers of the 
new philosophy, has, in one of his finest poems, compared 
Bacon to Moses standing on Mount Pisgah. It is to Bacon, 
we think, as he appears in the first book of the Novum 
Organum, that the comparison applies with peculiar felicity. 
There we see the great Lawgiver looking round from his 
lonely elevation on an infinite expanse ; behind him a wil- 

20 derness of dreary sands and bitter waters in which successive 
generations have sojourned, always moving, yet never ad- 
vancing, reaping no harvest, and building no abiding city ; 
before him a goodly land, a land of promise, a land flowing 
with milk and honey. While the multitude below saw only 
the flat sterile desert in which they had so long wandered, 
bounded on every side by a near horizon, or diversified only 
by some deceitful mirage, he was gazing from a far higher 
stand on a far lovelier country, following with his eye the 
long course of fertilizing rivers, through ample pastures, 

joand under the bridges of great capitals, measuring the 
distances of marts and havens, and portioning out all those 
wealthy regions from Dan to Beersheba. 

It is painful to turn back from contemplating Bacon's 
philosophy to contemplate his life. Yet without so turning 
back it is impossible fairly to estimate his powers. He left 


the University at an earlier age than that at which most 
people repair thither. While yet a boy he was plunged into 
the midst of diplomatic business. Thence he passed to the 
study of a vast technical system of law, and worked his way 
up through a succession of laborious offices to the highest 
post in his profession. In the meantime he took an active 
part in every Parliament ; he was an adviser to the Crown : 
he paid court with the greatest assiduity and address to all 
whose favour was likely to be of use to him ; he lived much 
in society ; he noticed the slightest peculiarities of character i 
and the slightest changes of fashion. Scarcely any man had 
led a more stirring life than that which Bacon led from 
sixteen to sixty. Scarcely any man has been better entitled 
to be called a thorough man of the world. The founding 
of a new philosophy, the imparting of a new direction to 
the minds of speculators, this was the amusement of his 
leisure, the work of hours occasionally stolen from the 
Woolsack and the Council Board. This consideration, while 
it increases the admiration with which we regard his intellect , 
increases also our regret that such an intellect should so 2 
often have been unworthily employed. He well knew the 
better course, and had, at one time, resolved to pursue it. 
' I confess ', said he in a letter written when he was still 
young, ' that I have as vast contemplative ends as I have 
moderate civil ends.' Had his civil ends continued to be 
moderate, he would have been, not only the Moses, but the 
Joshua of philosophy. He would have fulfilled a large part 
of his own magnificent predictions. He would have led his 
followers, not only to the verge, but into the heart of the 
promised land. He would not merely have pointed out, 3 
but would have divided the spoil. Above all, he would 
have left, not only a great, but a spotless name. Mankind 
would then have been able to esteem their Ulustrious 
benefactor. We should not then be compelled to regard 
his character with mingled contempt and admiration, with 


mingled aversion and gratitude. We should not then regret 
that there should be so many proofs of the narrowness and 
selfishness of a heart, the benevolence of which was yet 
large enough to take in all races and all ages. We should 
not then have to blush for the disingenuousness of the most 
devoted worshipper of speculative truth, for the servility 
of the boldest champion of intellectual freedom. We should 
not then have seen the same man at one time far in the van, 
and at another time far in the rear of his generation. We 

lo should not then be forced to own that he who first treated 
legislation as a science was among the last Englishmen who 
used the rack, that he who first summoned philosophers to 
the great work of interpreting nature was among the last 
Englishmen who sold justice. And we should conclude 
our survey of a life placidly, honourably, beneficently 
passed, ' in industrious observations, grounded conclusions, 
and profitable inventions and discoveries,' ^ with feelings 
very different from those with which we now turn away 
from the chequered spectacle of so much glory and so much 

20 shame. 

From S. R. G A R D I N E R' S Article 

(In the Dictionary of National Biography, 1885.) 

At some time, probably not later than July 1591, Bacon 
made the acquaintance of the young Earl of Essex. In this 
way began the first of Bacon's so-called friendships. That 
the earl soon became warmly attached to Bacon is beyond 
doubt. The intelligent, but impulsive and passionate noble- 
man of twenty-three found in the cool and wary adviser, 
who was in years his senior, those qualities so different from 
his own which were likely to rivet his affection. It was 
• From a Letter of Bacon to Lxjrd Burleigh. 


Bacon's misfortune that he never passed through the stage 
of admiration which goes far to develop a complete charac- 
ter. The author of the ' Letter of Advice ' knew himself to 
be capable of giving lessons in politics to Burghley, and, if 
he did not expect intellectual assistance from Essex, he 
failed to perceive that the young nobleman's generosity of 
temper was at least as admirable as any power of brain could 
possibly be. In his intercourse with men there was none of 
that intellectual give-and-take which is the foundation of the 
highest friendship. What he gave was advice, the best that k 
he had at his disposal. What he hoped to receive, as he 
looked back upon the past after fourteen years, may be 
given in his own words : ' I held at that time ', he wrote, 
' my lord to be the fittest instrument to do good to the state ; 
and therefore I applied myself to him in a manner which 
I think happeneth rarely among men.' In 1596 he put it in 
another way, in asking Essex ' to look about, even jealously 
a little if you will, and to consider whether I have not reason 
to think that your f ortime comprehendeth mine ' .^ It is not 
necessary to suppose that Bacon meant to refer merely to 21 
his personal fortune. That would no doubt be included, 
but the allusion must in fairness be understood to imply 
that he looked to Essex to carry through to success all that 
Bacon was, the political reformer as well as the aspirant 
after promotion. . . . 

The year 1596 marks the highest point in the life of Essex. 
In the capture of Cadiz he acquitted himself well in every 
respect. On his return home he showed himself captious 
and jealous of his fellow commanders, whilst the favour 
which he acquired in the eyes of soldiers and sailors might 3 
easily make him a dangerous man to a queen who had no 
standing army on which to rely. It was to this latter point 
especially that Bacon applied himself in a letter of advice 
written to Essex on 4 Oct., a letter in which Bacon uninten- 
' Spedding, ii. 40 ; see also Abbott's Bacon and Essex, 36. 


tionally displays the worst side of his character as fully as 
he did afterwards in the ' Commentarius Solutus ' of 1608. 
At the bottom the advice given is thoroughly sound. Essex 
is to convince the queen that he is not a dangerous person 
by avoiding further connection with military enterprises, 
and by shunning all suspicion of popularity, that is to say, 
of courting the people with the object iof obtaining an inde- 
pendent position in opposition to the government. All this, 
however, is fenced about with recommendations to use a 

10 variety of petty tricks, to make agreeable speeches, and to 
appear otherwise than he is. No doubt the character of 
Elizabeth has to bear much of the blame for the possibihty 
that such advice could be given, but Bacon cannot be alto- 
gether cleared. Firm as a rock on the principles on which 
he acted, he had learned early and too well the lesson that it 
was only by personal flattery and petty hypocrisies that he 
could hope to accomplish his ends. 

It was at this time that Bacon was preparing for publica- 
tion the shrewd observations on men and affairs which 

20 appeared under the name of the ' Essays '. The dedication 
to his brother Anthony in the first edition is dated 30 Jan. 
1597, and a copy was sold on 8 Feb. One passage has a 
special pathos in it : ' There is little friendship in the world, 
and least of all between equals, which was wont to be magni- 
fied, whose fortunes may comprehend the one the other.' 
In his letter of advice Bacon had written to Essex that 
' your fortune comprehendeth mine '. In the ' Essays ' he 
shows his belief that the obhgation of friendship ought to be 
mutual, though it looks also as if he were longing for a friend 

30 who might give him counsel as well as receive it. If he had 
this feeling, it would explain his dedication to his brother 
instead of the earl better than other reasons which have 
been suggested. His relations with his brother seem to have 
come nearer to his ideal of friendship than anything which 
he found elsewhere. . . . 


In a letter to Essex of 20 July 1600 Bacon used words 
which may be taken as expressing his innermost thoughts 
on his relation to Essex : ' I desire your lordship ', he wrote, 
' also to think that though I confess I love some things much 
better than I love your lordship, as the queen's service, her 
quiet and contentment, her honour, her favour, the good 
of my country, and the like, yet I love few persons better 
than yourself, both for gratitude's sake and for your own 
virtues, which cannot hurt but by accident or abuse.' 

Before long Bacon was called on to weigh one against the ic 
other his obligations to the queen and the earl. As months 
passed on without bringing with them a restoration to 
favour, the discontent of Essex took the form of wild pro- 
jects, ultimately settling down into a determination to make 
himself master of the court by violence, to bring to justice 
his enemies amongst the queen's ministers, and to substi- 
tute for them himself and his supporters. On 8 February 
1601, having reason to suppose that his purpose was known, 
he was persuaded by his followers to betake himself to the 
city with some two hundred armed men at his heels, and to 2c 
call on the citizens to rally round him. Faihng to gain 
support he returned to Essex House, and was soon a prisoner 
in the hands of the government. On 11 February Bacon was 
appointed among others to investigate the causes of the 
sudden revolt, and on the 18th information was obtained 
which brought to light the earl's previous treasonable 
intrigues. On the 19th Essex was brought up for trial. 

In obtaining the conviction which followed. Bacon was 
most serviceable. He called back the attention of the court 
from Coke's digressions, and he fixed upon Essex the re- 3< 
sponsibility for his actions, arguing that they afforded evi- 
dence of an intention to collect an armed force, and that for 
' armed petitioners ' to present petitions ' must needs bring 
loss of liberty to the prince ', and was therefore treasonable. 
To Bacon's conduct on this occasion exception has been 
2179-16 c 


taken on two grounds. In the first place, it has been said 
that he ought not to have appeared against his benefactor 
at all. That the course which he took indicates poverty of 
moral feeling cannot be denied. Yet our sentiment on the 
precedence of personal over political ties is based upon our 
increased sense of political security, and is hardly applicable 
to a state of affairs in which anarchy, with all its attendant 
miseries, would indubitably follow on the violent overthrow 
of the queen's right to select her ministers, even if her person 

io continued for a time to be outwardly respected ; and it 
is, at all events, one which Bacon studiously renounced 
from the very beginning of his connection with Essex. 
In the second place it has been alleged that Bacon 
sinned in charging Essex with a consistent purpose of 
treason which was foreign to his nature. It is no doubt 
true that Essex never did anything consistently, and 
that an analysis of character would spare his heart at 
the expense of his head. It does not, however, follow that 
Bacon went deliberately wrong. On the day of the trial he 

20 had only very recently become acquainted with the earl's 
very questionable proceedings in Ireland, and it was only 
in consonance with the weak side of his intellect to adopt 
a compact theory rather than one which left room for vague- 
ness and uncertainty. As was afterwards the case in the 
opinion which he formed of Raleigh's guilt in the Guiana 
voyage, he left out of sight those tentative and shadowy 
intentions which had no place in his own mental constitu- 
tion. At all events, whatever the character of Essex may 
have been, his actions were none the less dangerous to the 

30 state. A government without the protection of an armed 
force was liable to be overturned by a man who, hke Essex, 
was the darling of the military class which was at that time 
forming, without that tie of discipline which, in standing 
armies, counterbalances the tendency of military men to 
use force rather than persuasion. The new form of danger 
1 Abbott, Bacon and Essex, 194-242. 


which had succeeded to the danger from a feudal nobility lent 
weight to the opinion to which Bacon gave expression in his 
attack on Essex : ' You, my lord,' he said, ' should know 
that though princes give their subjects cause of discontent, 
though they take away the honours they have heaped upon 
them, though they bring them to a lower estate than they 
raised them from, yet ought they not to be so forgetful of 
their allegiance that they should enter into any undutiful 
act, much less upon rebellion, as you, my lord, have done.' 
To Bacon the maintenance of the authority of the state was ic 
a sacred work, and in the sixteenth century the authority 
of the queen was the equivalent of the authority of the 

The death of Elizabeth on 24 March 1603 opened a new 
prospect to Bacon, which might be turned to account if he 
could gain the ear of James. . At first, however, his hope 
of usefulness was rather discouraged by the change. He was 
indeed continued as one of the king's learned counsel, and 
on 23 July was knighted at the same time as three hundred 
others ; but neither Coke nor Cecil was likely to help him 2c 
to that familiarity of access to James which he had long 
enjoyed at Elizabeth's court. It was probably in these days 
of expectancy that he wrote the 'Apology ' concerning the 
late Earl of Essex, of which the earliest known printed copy 
bears the date of 1604. During the same period, besides 
a slight sketch of a proem to that great work on the inter- 
pretation of nature which was never quite out of his mind, 
he dedicated to James a paper on the mode of carrying out 
the union between Scotland and England wMch they both 
desired, and another on the pacification and edification of 3< 
the church of England, in which he once more restated those 
comprehensive and tolerant principles which animated his 
former treatise on the same subject. James was to Bacon, 
at this stage of his career, very much what Essex had been 
before, a man powerful for carrying out Bacon's plans ; but 
with this difference, that he was himself the head and repre- 
C 2 


sentative of the state, and that in his case, therefore, there 
could never be that collision between personal and political 
claims to devotion which had brought about so tragic an 
ending to Bacon's relations with the favourite of Elizabeth. 
Unfortunately, though the natures of Essex and James were 
entirely dissimilar, they were equally incapable of serving 
Bacon's high purposes, the king's want of earnestness and 
unsteadiness of purpose being as fatal to his chance of prov- 
ing a successful ruler as the inconsistent vehemence of the 

lo earl. In weighing the terms of adulation in which Bacon 
continued to address him to the end, it must, however, be 
remembered that, if there was some hypocrisy, it was for 
the most part unconscious, and that Bacon's hopeful dis- 
position was apt to fix as long as possible rather on the signs 
favourable to success than upon the indications of failure. 
In James's case the reasons for hoping better things than 
ultimately resulted from his reign were certainly not want- 
ing. The mind of the new king was capable of taking in 
large ideas, and he had a dislike of intolerance which prom- 

20 iscd well, and which must have led Bacon to contrast him 
favourably with the average Englishman of the time, whose 
views were represented in the House of Commons. 

An unhappy indication of the mode in which James was 
likely to deal with the ideas which he had in common with 
Bacon was given at the Hampton Court conference which 
opened on 14 January 1604, where the intention of introduc- 
ing rational reforms in the church was smothered in an 
outbreak of temper, and was followed before long by a 
resolution to draw the bonds of conformity even more 

30 tightly than in the days of Ehzabeth. 

To James's first parliament, which met on 19 March 1604, 
Bacon was returned for both Ipswich and St. Albans. He 
sat for the former. The possibiUty that his scheme of 
church reform might be to some extent carried out, was not 
quite at an end. Bacon, when he took his seat, might still 


hope to do something in this direction, and might cherish 
even greater hopes in the direction of the union with Scot- 
land. Yet it would be to misunderstand Bacon to associate 
him merely with the desire to pass particular reforms. 
Eager as he was to provide remedies for the disorders of 
his time, he was still more eager to avert that breach 
of sympathy between the king and the House of Commons 
which is now understood to have been the root of the 
miseries of the seventeenth century far more than any 
special tyrannical propensities of the Stuart kings. It was ic 
this intuitive perception of the source of danger which raises 
Bacon to the first rank amongst statesmen, whilst, at the 
same time, his failure to recognise that it was as impossible 
to bring James and the House of Commons to work together, 
as it had been to bring Elizabeth and Essex to work together 
— a failure the causes of which lay in Bacon's moral as well 
as his intellectual nature — led to the great catastrophe of 
his misused life. 

The session of 1604 gave Bacon many opportunities of 
exercising his reconciling powers. The commons wanted 2c 
to obtain from the king the redress of grievances arising 
from feudal tenures, from purveyance, and other antiquated 
rights of the crown, without sufficiently acknowledging the 
necessity of providing a sufficient income for the fulfilment 
of the duties of government. On the other hand, James was 
anxious to press on the imion with Scotland without fitting 
consideration of the prejudices of his new subjects. On all 
these points, as well as on certain questions of privilege 
which arose. Bacon had much to say, and what he did say 
was concihatory in the best way, by suggesting plans which 3<'- 
might carry out the most justifiable desires of both parties. 
When, however, the end of the session arrived on 7 July, 
Bacon had affected no reconciliation. The question of the 
union was referred to a joint committee of Scottish and 
English commissoners to be put in shape for a future parlia- 


ment ; and the question of the grievances had been dis- 
cussed with such acrimony, that, in dismissing the commons, 
the king gave vent to his feelings in a speech of mere scolding. 
The breach thus accomphshed was practically final : 
but it was not in Bacon's nature, perhaps not in 
the nature of any man, to acknowledge that the case 
was hopeless. His own political position was very 
similar to his scientific position. In both he had teaching 
to give which his own generation was incapable of compre- 

lo bending. In both, therefore, all that he could really hope 
to accomplish was to expound his principles in such a way 
that future generations might act upon them. It is no 
wonder that from time to time he felt regret that he had 
not devoted himself to a scientific life, especially as he was 
himself unaware that he had not the qualifications of a 
scientific observer. It is no wonder either that, in addition 
to the attraction of worldly success, the great attraction 
of possibly averting the coming evil weighed with him in 
chaining him to the oar of political service. In so doing he 

20 no doubt under-estimated the obstacles caused by the com- 
monplace industry of men like Coke and Cecil, and over- 
estimated the receptivity of James's mind. The fact is, that 
he stood to the English revolution with all its miseries as 
Turgot stood to the French revolution, and he was as dis- 
trustful as Turgot was of the domination of elected political 
assemblies. Turgot's stem independence of character, how- 
ever, contrasts nobly with Bacon's suppleness ; but both 
Bacon and Turgot undertook a task in itself impossible, 
that of reconciling classes who already stood too far apart 

30 to be reconciled. 

This reliance on management at the expense of truth- 
fulness was Bacon's worst fault. It cannot, however, be 
said of him that if he defended James overmuch, he did not 
try his best to make James's policy other than it was. In 
a paper written at the end of September or the beginning 


of October 1615, at the time when the council recommended 
the calling of another parliament, Bacon gave his opinion 
strongly, not only in the same direction, but in favour of the 
course, which he had always advised, of abandoning all 
attempts at bargaining. ' Let there be an utter silence,' he 
wrote, 'as of the king's part, of money or supply, or of 
the king's debts or wants ; they are things too well known. 
And let not the king doubt but some honest man will, after 
they have sat awhile, fall upon them, though it proceed not 
from the king. Nay, I will presume further to say (as put- 10 
ting a case speculative, which in act and event I hold an 
impossibility), if subsidies should never be given nor spoken 
of in the next parliament, yet the meeting and parting of 
the king and his parliament with due conservation of the 
majesty and authority of the king, which heretofore hath 
suffered, and will suffer as long as money is made the mere 
object of the parliament, sind without heats or contestations, 
or oppositions between him and his parliament, I hold to be 
a thing of invaluable consequence, both in reputation and 
towards the substance of future affairs.' If Bacon wished 2c 
to see the king formally absolute, he wished him to be 
surrounded by the impalpable atmosphere of a sympa- 
thetic union with his people. 

It was not entirely to James's discredit that he could 
not realise Bacon's ideal. One of the modes of winning 
favour recommended by Bacon in this paper is that of 
taking advantage of the good understanding between 
France and Spain, to ' give fire to our nation, and make 
them aspire to be again umpires in those wars ; or, at least, 
to retrench and amuse the greatness of Spain for their own 3c 
preservation.' Bacon could give this advice honestly 
because he had always advocated a stirring foreign policy, 
pushed even to warlike action, as a means of bringing king 
and people together. With all his powers he was an English 
politician ; James, on the other hand, with all his faults. 


was an international politician. To make war to advance 
his own greatness or the greatness of England was hateful 
to him. Unfortunately he was already deep in a negotiation 
for a marriage between his son and a Spanish infanta. 
Bacon's allusion to this is characteristic of the tenderness 
with which he handles the king's actions, and of the way in 
which he manages to spoil even the best advice by overmuch 
cleverness. James, he says, might frighten the commons 
into a grant of supply upon the opinion of some great offer 

lo for a marriage of the prince with Spain. ' Not ', he proceeds, 
' that I shall easily advise that that should be really effected; 
but I say the opinion of it may have singular use, both 
because it will easily be believed that the offer may be so 
great from that hand as may at once free the king's estate ; 
and chiefly because it will be a notable attractive to the 
parliament, that hates the Spaniard, so to do for the king 
as his state may not force him to fall upon that condition,' 
How much higher would Bacon have stood with posterity 
if he had boldly spoken out the opinion which he indicated, 

20 instead of advocating such a poor trick as this ! 

On 7 January 1618 he became lord chancellor, and on 
12 July he was raised to the peerage as Baron Verulam. 
During the whole of Elizabeth's reign no one had borne 
the title of lord chancellor, and no lord keeper had been 
made a peer. 

Bacon was obUged mainly to content himself with 
judicial work. On 8 June 1617, three months after he had 
taken his seat in chancery, he had cleared off all the 
arrears of business in that court. As far as we know, his 
30 justice was, on the whole, as exemplary as his energy. Not 
only were no complaints heard at the time, which may 
easily be accounted for, but in later years, when every man's 
mouth was opened against him, no successful attempt was 
made to reverse his decisions. . . . 

Of his personal position he never felt more assured than 


when parliament was opened. On 12 October 1620 he 
published the ' Novum Organum.' On 22 January 1621 
he had kept his sixtieth birthday at York House, and 
received the homage of Ben Jonson as one 

WTiose even thread the fates spin round and full 
Out of their choicest and their whitest wool. 

On 27 January he was raised a step in the peerage, and 
became Viscount St. Albans. Nor had he reason to suspect 
that the new House of Commons, which met on 30 January, 
would be otherwise than friendly to him. He had long 10 
advocated the policy of which the commons approved ; 
and he had always given his voice in favour of a good under- 
standing between them and the king. Yet, for all that, 
a storm was gathering against him. 

Naturally Bacon had made enemies. Coke, who was 
a member of this parliament, and was soon to appear as 
a very influential one. both hated and despised him. 
Cranfield, the master of the wards, who was also a member, 
must have discovered that Bacon looked down on him as 
a mere accountemt, and consequently was as bitterly dis- -^ 
posed towards him as Coke had always been. Taken alone 
the opposition of the practical commonplace official might 
not have led to much, but it had at its back a sentiment 
which was all the more dangcrou^, because it did not imply 
any personal dislike of Bacon himself amongst the members 
of the house. That sentiment was one of dissatisfaction 
with the government of which Bacon had made himself 
the instrument, not sufficiently pronounced to make the 
house wish to place itself in direct opposition to the king, 
but sufficiently strong to make it ill-disposed to one who, 3° 
Uke Bacon, had allowed his devotion to monarchical 
principles to be publicly known, whilst he had thrown 
a veil of secrecy over his disapproval of the policy of the 
actual monarch. 

20 X1-33AX3 KJ l\ JD^VV^iN 

To this sentiment the strong feeling against the mono- 
polies was certain to minister. The natural desire of finding 
some one to punish when things had gone wrong led men 
to search for victims. Mompesson and Michell were not of 
sufficient importance to satisfy this desire. Buckingham 
could not be touched without touching the king, and, 
besides, he expressed an ardent wish to join the commons 
in hunting down abuses. There remained the referees, 
who had certified that the monopolies were either good in 

lo law or beneficial in practice, and of these referees Bacon 
was the most conspicuous. For a time there was a call, 
strongly supported by Coke and Cranfield, for bringing the 
referees to account ; but James stood firm, and the question 
of ministerial responsibihty was shelved for the time. 

If Bacon's conduct as a referee escaped inquiry, he was 
more exposed to attack than before. Those who wished 
to bring charges of any kind against him would know that 
they would have a favourable audience in the House of 
Commons, and probably also in the House of Lords. On 

20 14 March Cranfield, who had led the attack upon the re- 
ferees, complained of the court of chancery for the protec- 
tion which it offered to insolvents, and Coke followed in the 
same strain. Before anything could be done to put the 
charge into shape, a certain Christopher Aubrey presented 
a petition to the commons in which the chancellor was 
directly charged with bribery. He was followed by Edward 
Egerton, who made much the same complaint. The 
peculiarity of these cases was that Bacon had decided 
against the persons who had given him money. 

30 On 17 March the commons resolved to send the com- 
plaints before the lords for inquiry, without committing 
themselves on one side or the other. Bacon's own feeling 
during these days was one of assurance that the charges 
against him had been concocted by those who had failed 
to punish him as a referee. ' Your lordship ', he wrote to 


Buckingham, ' spoke of purgatory ; I am now in it, but 
ny mind is calm, for my fortune is not my felicity. I know 
. have clean hands and a clean heart, and I hope a clean 
louse for friends or servants ; but Job himself, or whoever 
vas the justest judge, by such hunting for matters against 
dm as hath been used against me, may for a time seem 
oul, especially in a time when greatness is the mark and 
iccusation is the game. And if this be to be a chancellor, 
. think if the great seal lay upon Hounslow Heath nobody 
vould take it up.' 10 

Under the trial his health broke down. On the i8th he 
vas unable to leave his house, and on the following day 
jegged for time to reply to the accusations against him. 
?resh charges were soon brought, amongst them that of 
^ady Wharton, who had given money directly into Bacon's 
land and had received a crushing sentence almost imme- 
iiately afterwards. That Bacon had taken the money as 
I bribe is most improbable, but he had certainly sinned 
igainst the rule which he laid down for himself, that though, 
iccording to the custom of the day, presents might be taken 20 
rom suitors, they should never be accepted while the suit 
vas pending. The best explanation of his conduct is that, 
iccording to his usual habit of caring to do the right thing 
vithout regarding how it was done, he had satisfied himself 
vith judging justly, and had been almost incredibly careless 
)f the appearance of his conduct in the eyes of others. On 
[6 April Bacon, who was sufhciently recovered to leave his 
lOuse, had an interview with the king. The memoranda 
)f what he intended to say to James have been preserved. 
There be three causes of bribery ', he wrote, ' charged or y> 
;upposed in a judge : the first, of bargain or contract for 
eward to pervert justice ; the second, where the judge 
;onceives the cause to be at an end by the information of 
he party or otherwise, and useth not such diligence as he 
)ught to inquire of it ; and the third, when the cause is 


really ended, and it is sine frauds, without relation to any 
precedent promise.' 

When he wrote these words he had not yet seen the 
charges against him in detail. He acknowledged that he 
might have done things falling under the second head. 
What he asked for was a fair trial. On the 20th he knew 
enough of the particulars of the charges to be aware that 
the case against him would be difficult to answer. Within 
a few hours a copy of the examinations taken in the House 

10 of Lords reached him, and he then knew that defence was 
impossible. Though he might be certain that he had never 
taken a bribe from corrupt motives, he knew that he had 
done the very things which corrupt men do. He had taken 
money whilst cases were pending. On the 27th he made 
his formal submission to the lords, hoping that they would 
be content with depriving him of office. The lords, however, 
pressed for an answer to the charges. Bacon was again ill, 
and the answer brought by the lords' messengers was that 
he would make no defence, but wished to explain some 

20 points. On the 30th the explanation was given. ' I 
do again confess ', Bacon wrote at the end of his state- 
ment, ' that in the points charged upon me, although 
they should be taken as myself have declared them, 
there is a great deal of corruption and neglect, for which 
I am heartily and penitently sorry.' On i May the great 
seal was taken from him. As he was still too ill to attend 
in person, the sentence was passed on 3 May in his absence. 
He was to be fined 40,000^., imprisoned during the king's 
pleasure, and disabled from sitting in pariiament and from 

30 coming within the verge of the court. 

Bacon only remained for a few days in the Tower. On 
20 September the king signed a warrant assigning his fine 
to trustees for his own use. and directing a pardon to be 
drawn which would protect him from all demands other than 
those arising out of his parliamentary sentence. 



Bacon had more difficulty in procuring a relaxation of 
that part of the sentence which prohibited him from coming 
within twelve miles of the court. Buckingham wished to 
become the owner of York House, and it was not till, in 
the spring of 1622, Bacon consented to sell it to him, that 
the required permission was obtained. 

Bacon was not a man who could allow himself to remain 
idle. As early as October 1621 he completed his ' History of 
Henry VII ', which was published in the following year. 
Then he busied himself with the completion and transla- 10 
tion into Latin of the ' Advancement of Learning ', which 
appeared in October 1623 as ' De Augmentis Scientiarum '. 
To his former feelings towards the king was now added 
gratitude for having tempered the blow which had fallen 
on him, and his language was as flattering after his fall as 
it had been before. In March 1622 he offered to do what 
had long been on his heart, to draw up a digest of the law. 
If he wrote of the ' Instauratio ' as his ' great work ', it does 
not follow that he regarded political work as much inferior 
in importance. His correspondence shows how eagerly he 20 
desired to be employed in political matters again, and it 
is one of the most curious features of that correspondence 
that he never seems to have understood that the sentence 
passed on him was an insuperable bar to employment in 
the service of the state. 

The return of Buckingham and the prince from Spain 
gave Bacon an opportunity of appearing on the side which 
was at the same time popular and courtly, and the support 
of which was also in harmony vnth his own lifelong con- 
victions. In a speech which he drew up for the use of some 30 
member of the House of Commons in 1624, and in the 
• Considerations touching a War with Spain ', which he 
addressed to the prince, he took the course which satisfied 
his conscience, if it seemed also calculated to gain satis- 
faction for what ambition was left to him. In spite of all. 


however, he remained a disappointed man. Even the 
provostship of Eton was refused him in 1623, and in 1625 
he pressed the new king in vain for the grant of the full 
pardon which would enable him to take his seat in parlia- 
ment. Charles and Buckingham no doubt regarded him 
as an importunate old man, whose advice they were even 
less likely to regard than James had been. 

Nothing remained to Bacon but to devote himself to 
further work upon the ' Instauratio Magna '. Increasing 

10 weakness of health, however, made every task difficult. 
At the end of March 1626, being near Highgate on a snowy 
day, he left his coach to collect snow with which he meant 
to stuff a fowl in order to observe the effect of cold on the 
preservation of its flesh. In so doing he caught a chill, and 
took refuge in Lord Arundel's house, where, on 9 April, he 
died of the disease which is now known as bronchitis. He 
was buried at St. Michael's Church, St. Albans. 

' For my name and memory,' wrote Bacon in the will 
which he drew up on 19 December 1625, ' I leave it to men's 

20 charitable speeches and to foreign nations and the next 
ages.' He surely never contemplated that his devotion 
to science would be held to be indirectly damaging to his 
character, and that writer after writer would regard his 
claim to be a prophet of scientific knowledge so super- 
eminent as to consign to oblivion his equally great claim 
as a prophet of political knowledge. As his contribution 
to science rests on his perception of the greatness and variety 
of nature, so his contribution to politics rests upon his per- 
ception of the complexity of human society. In politics, 

30 as well as in science, he found himself too much in advance 
of the times to secure a following. Some men would have 
grown misanthropical, and would have abandoned the 
thankless task in despair. It was alike the strength and 
weakness of Bacon's character which prevented him from 
doing this. He must strive against such a disaster, must 


eek help wherever it could be found, must speak fair words 
o those who had it in their power to assist him, must be 
)atient beyond aU ordinary patience, content if he could 
;et but a little done of the great things which he designed, 
ometimes content if he could have the vaguest hope of 
)eing some day able to accomplish a little. As far as science 
vas concerned, all this brought nothing dishonourable. In 
)olitics it was otherwise. Power to do good in politics was, 
iccording to the possibility of his day, inseparably connected 
vith high place and the good things of the world, to the 
id vantages of which Bacon was by no means insensible. 
;f Bacon never lost sight of the higher object in the pursuit 
)f the lower, if James was to him the only possible reconciler 
)f sectional ambitions, as well as the dispenser of coronets and 
)fiices, it was not to be expected that those who watched 
lis progress should be charitable enough to acknowledge 
hese points in his favour. Bacon was too great a man to 
)lay other than a second-rate part in the age in which 
le lived, and he struggled hard, to the detriment of his own 
;haracter as well as of his fame, to avoid the inevitable ; 

By Ben Jonson 

(From Discoveries, made upon men and matter, published 1641.) 

One, though he be excellent and the chief, is not to be 
mitated alone. For never no imitator ever grew up to his 
luthor ; likeness is always on this side truth. Yet there 
lappened in my time one noble speaker who was full of 
gravity in his speaking. His language (where he could spare 
3r pass by a jest) was nobly censorious. No man ever spake 
nore neatly, more pressly, more weightily, or suffered less 



emptiness, less idleness, in what he uttered. No member of 
his speech but consisted of the own graces : his hearers could 
not cough, or look aside from him, without loss. He com- 
manded where he spoke, and had his judges angry and 
pleased at his devotion. No man had their affections more 
in his power. The fear of every man that heard him was 
lest he should make an end. ... 

My conceit of his person was never increased toward him 
by his place or honours. But I have, and do reverence him 
vo for the greatness that was only proper to himself, in that he 
seemed to me ever, by his work, one of the greatest men, 
and most worthy of admiration, that had been in many 
ages. In his adversity I ever prayed that God would give 
him strength : for greatness he could not want. Neither 
could I condole in a word or syllable for him ; as knowing no 
accident could do harm to virtue, but rather help to make 
it manifest. 

By Thomas Fuller 

(From The Church-History of Britain, published 1655.) 

None can character him to the life, save himself. He 
was in parts more than a man, who in any liberal profession 
20 might be whatsoever he would himself. A great honourer 
of ancient authors, yet a great deviser and practiser of new 
ways in learning. Privy Counsellor, as to King James, so 
to Nature itself, diving into many of her abstruse mysteries. 
New conclusions he would dig out with mattocks of gold 
and silver, not caring what his experience cost him, ex- 
pending on the trials of Nature all and more than he got by 
the trials at the Bar, posterity being the better for his, 
though he the worse for his own dear experiments. He 
and his servants had all in common, the men never wanting 
what their master had, and thus what came flowing in unto 


him was sent flying away from him, who in giving of 
rewards knew no bounds but the bottom of his own purse. 
Wherefore when King James heard that he had given ten 
pounds to an underkeeper by whom he had sent him a buck, 
the King said merrily, I and he shall both die Beggars, 
which was condemnable prodigality in a subject. 

By William Rawley 

(From Resuscitatio, or Pieces hitherto sleeping of Francis Bacon, 
Viscount St. Alban. With his Lordship's Life. 1657.) 

He was no plodder upon books ; though he read much, 
and that with great judgement, and rejection of imperti- 
nences incident to many authors. For he would ever inter- 
lace a moderate relaxation of his mind with his studies ; 10 
as walking, or taking the air abroad in his coach, or some 
other befitting recreation. And yet he would lose no 
time ; inasmuch as upon his first and immediate return he 
would fall to reading again, and so suffer no moment of 
time to sUp from him without some present improvement. 

His meals were refections of the ear as well as of the 
stomach : like the Nodes Atticce or Convivia Deipno-sophis- 
tarum, wherein a man might be refreshed in his mind and 
understanding no less than in his body. And I have known 
some, of no mean parts, that have professed to make use of 20 
their note-books, when they have risen from his table. In 
which conversations, and otherwise, he was no dashing man 
as some men are ; but ever a countenancer and fosterer of 
another man's parts. Neither was he one that would 
appropriate the speech wholly to himself, or delight to out- 
vie others, but leave a liberty to the co-assessors to take 
their turns. Wherein he would draw a man on and allure 
him to speak upon such a subject as wherein he was 
pecuharly skilful and would delight to speak ; and for 
himself he contemned no man's observations, but would 30 
light his torch at every man's candle. 

2179-16 D 


His opinions and assertions were, for the most part, 
binding, and not contradicted by any ; rather hke oracles 
than discourses. Which may be imputed, either to the well 
weighing of his sentence by the scales of truth and reason ; 
or else to the reverence and estimation wherein he was 
commonly had, that no man would contest with him. So 
that there was no argumentation, or pro and con (as they 
term it), at his table ; or if there chanced to be any, it was 
carried with much submission and moderation, 
lo I have often observed, and so have other men of great 
account, that if he had occasion to repeat another man's 
words after him, he had an use and faculty to dress them 
in better vestments and apparel than they had before, so 
that the author should find his own speech much amended, 
and yet the substance of it still retained : as if it had been 
natural to him to use good forms ; as Ovid spake of his 
faculty of versifying, 

Et quod tentaham scribere, versus erat. 

When his office called him, as he was of the King's 
20 Counsel Learned, to charge any offenders, either in criminals 
or capitals, he was never of an insulting or domineering 
nature over them, but always tender-hearted and carrying 
himself decently towards the parties (though it was his 
duty to charge them home) ; but yet as one that looked 
upon the example with the eye of severity, but upon the 
person with the eye of pity and compassion. And in Civil 
Business, as he was Councillor of Estate, he had the best 
way of advising ; not engaging his master in any precipitate 
or grievous courses, but in moderate and fair proceedings : 
30 the king whom he served giving him this testimony, that 
he ever dealt in business suavibus modis, which was the way 
that was most according to his own heart. 

Neither was he, in his time, less gracious with the subject 
than with his Sovereign. He was ever acceptable to the 


House of Commons when he was a member thereof. Being 
the King's Attorney, and chosen to a place in Parhament, 
he was allowed and dispensed with to sit in the House, which 
was not permitted to other Attorneys. 

And as he was a good servant to his master, being never in 
nineteen years' service (as himself averred) rebuked by the 
King for any thing relating to his Majesty, so he was a good 
master to his servants, and rewarded their long attendance 
with good places, freely, when they fell into his power ; 
which was the cause that so many young gentlemen of blood 10 
and quality sought to list themselves in his retinue. And 
if he were abused by any of them in their places, it was only 
the error of the goodness of his nature, but the badges of 
their indiscretions and intemperances. 

From COWLEY'S Ode 

To the Royal Society 

(Prefixed to Thomas Sprat's History of the Royal Society, 1667.) 

Some few exalted spirits this latter age has shown, 
That labour'd to assert the liberty 
(From guardians, who were now usurpers grown) 
Of this old minor still, captiv'd philosophy ; 

But 'twas rebellion call'd to fight 

For such a long oppressed right. 
Bacon at last, a mighty man, arose. 

Whom a wise King and Nature chose 

Lord Chancellor of both their laws, 
And boldly undertook the injur'd pupil's cause. 

From Words, which are but pictures of the thought, 
(Though we our thoughts from them perversely drew) 
To Things, the mind's right object, he it brought. 
Like foolish birds to painted grapes we flew ; 
He sought and gather'd for our use the true. . . . 
D 2 


From these and all long errors of the way, 
In which our wandering predecessors went, 
And like th' old Hebrews many years did stray 

In deserts but of small extent, 
Bacon, like Moses, led us forth at last, 

The barren wilderness he past, 

Did on the very border stand 

Of the blest promis'd land. 
And from the mountain's top of his exalted wit 
> Saw it himself, and shew'd us it. 

But life did never to one man allow 
Time to discover worlds, and conquer too ; 
Nor can so short a time sufficient be 
To fathom the vast depths of Nature's sea : 

The work he did we ought to admire. 
And were unjust if we should more require 
From his few years, divided 'twixt th' excess 
Of low affliction, and high happiness : 
For who on things remote can fix his sight, 
D That 's always in a triumph, or a fight ? 

Selections from 




From the Discourse 


(British Museum, Harleian MS. 6797; first printed 1734.) 

No praise of magnanimity, nor of love, nor of knowledge, 
can intercept her praise that planteth and nourisheth 
magnanimity by her example, love by her person, and 
knowledge by the peace and serenity of her times ; and if 
these rich pieces be so fair unset, what are they set, and set 
in all perfection ? 

Magnanimity no doubt consisteth in contempt of peril, 
in contempt of profit, and in meriting of the times wherein 
one liveth. 

10 For contempt of peril, see a lady that cometh to a crown 
after the experience of some adverse fortune, which for the 
most part extenuateth the mind, and maketh it apprehensive 
of fears. No sooner she taketh the sceptre into her sacred 
hands, but she putteth on a resolution to make the greatest, 
the most important, the most dangerous [alteration] that 
can be in a state, the alteration of religion. This she doth, 
not after a Sovereignty established and continued by 
sundry years, when custom might have bred in her people 
a more absolute obedience, when trial of her servants might 

20 have made her more assured whom to employ, when the 
reputation of her policy and virtue might have made her 
government redoubted ; but at the very entrance of her 
reign, when she was green in authority, her servants scant 
known unto her, the adverse part not weakened, her own 
part not confirmed. Neither doth she reduce or reunite 
her realm to the religion of the states about her, that the 


evil inclination of the subject might be countervailed by 
the good correspondence in foreign parts ; but contrari- 
wise she introduceth a religion exterminated and persecuted 
both at home and abroad. Her proceeding herein is not 
by degrees and by stealth, but absolute and at once. Was 
she encouraged thereto by the strength she found in leagues 
and aUiances with great and potent confederates ? No, 
but she found her realm in wars with her nearest and might- 
iest neighbours ; she stood single and alone, and in league 
only with one, that after the people of her nation had made 10 
his wars, left her to make her own peace ; one that could 
never be by any solicitation moved to renew the treaties ; 
and one that since hath proceeded from doubtful terms of 
amity to the highest acts of hostihty. Yet notwithstanding 
the opposition so great, the support so weak, the season so 
unproper ; yet, I say, because it was a religion wherein she 
was nourished and brought up, a religion that freed her 
subjects from pretence of foreign powers, and indeed the 
true religion, she brought to pass this great work with 
success worthy so noble a resolution. See a Queen that, 20 
when a deep and secret conspiracy was plotted against her 
sacred person, practised by subtile instruments, embraced 
by violent and desperate hiunours, strengthened and bound 
by vows and sacraments, and the same was revealed unto 
her (and yet the nature of the affairs required further 
ripening before the apprehension of any of the parties) was 
content to put herself into the guard of the divine providence 
and her own prudence, to have some of the conspirators in 
her eyes, to suffer them to approach to her person, to take 
a petition of the hand that was conjured for her death ; and 30 
that with such majesty of countenance, such mildness 
and serenity of gesture, such art and impression of words, 
as had been sufficient to have repressed and bound the hand 
of a conspirator, if he had not been discovered. Lastly, see 
a Oueen, that when her realm was to have been invaded 


by an army the preparation whereof was like the travail of 
an elephant, the provisions [whereof] were infinite, the 
setting forth whereof was the terror and wonder of Europe ; 
it was not seen that her cheer, her fashion, her ordinary 
manner was anything altered ; not a cloud of that storm 
did appear in that countenance wherein peace doth ever 
shine ; but with excellent assurance and advised security 
she inspired her council, animated her nobility, redoubled 
the courage of her people ; still having this noble appre- 
lo hension, not only that she would communicate her fortune 
with them, but that it was she that would protect them, and 
not they her ; which she testified by no less demonstration 
than her presence in camp. Therefore that magnanimity 
that neither feareth greatness of alteration, nor the vows of 
conspirators, nor the power of the enemy, is more than 





M O R A L L, 



VISCOVNT S'. Alban. 

J^en>ly enlarged. 


Printed by I o h n Ha v i l a n d for 

Hanka Barret, and Richard 

W H I T A K E R, and arc to be fold 

at the fignc of the Kings head in 

PauU Church-yvd. 1615. 



I. Edition of iS97- 

To M. Anthony Bacon 
his dear Brother. 

Loving and beloved Brother, I do now hke some that 
have an orchard ill neighboured, that gather their fruit 
before it is ripe to prevent stealing. These fragments of my 
conceits were going to print ; to labour the stay of them 
had been troublesome, and subject to interpretation ; to let 
them pass had been to adventure the wrong they might 

lo receive by untrue copies, or by some garnishment, which it 
might please any that should set them forth to bestow upon 
them. Therefore I held it best discretion to publish them 
myself as they passed long ago from my pen, without any 
further disgrace than the weakness of the Author. And as I 
did ever hold there might be as great a vanity in retiring 
and withdrawing men's conceits (except they be of some 
nature) from the world as in obtruding them ; so in these 
particulars I have played myself the inquisitor, and find 
nothing to my understanding in them contrary or infectious 

20 to the state of religion, or manners, but rather (as I suppose) 
medicinable. Only I disliked now to put them out because 
they will be like the late new halfpence, which though the 
silver were good, yet the pieces were small. But since they 
would not stay with their master, but would needs travel 
abroad, I have preferred them to you that are next myself, 
dedicating them, such as they are, to our love, in the depth 
whereof (I assure you) I sometimes wish your infirmities 


ranslated upon myself, that her Majesty might have the 
ervice of so active and able a mind, and I might be with 
xcuse confined to these contemplations and studies for 
t^hich I am fittest ; so commend I you to the preservation 
if the divine Majesty. From my chamber at Gray's Inn, 
his 30 of January, 1597. 

Your entire loving brother, 

!. Manuscript Dedication, 16 10-12. 

(British Museum, Sloane MS. 4259, fol. 155.) 

To the most high and excellent Prince 
Henry, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, lo 

and Earl of Chester. 
-T may please your Highness 

Having divided my life into the contemplative and 
ictive part, I am desirous to give his Majesty and your 
Highness of the fruits of both, simple though they be. To 
(vrite just treatises requireth leisure in the writer, and leisure 
n the reader, and therefore are not so fit, neither in regard of 
i^our Highness's princely affairs, nor in regard of my con- 
:inual services. Which is the cause that hath made me 
;hoose to write certain brief notes, set down rather sig- 20 
lificantly than curiously, which I have called Essays ; the 
(Vord is late, but the thing is ancient. For Seneca's Epistles 
:o Lucilius, if one mark them well, are but Essays, — that is 
iispersed meditations, though conveyed in the form of 
Epistles. These labours of mine I know cannot be worthy 
)f your Highness, for what can be worthy of you ? But my 
lope is they may be as grains of salt, that will rather give 
^ou an appetite than offend you with satiety. And although 
;hey handle those things wherein both men's lives and their 
Dens are most conversant, yet (what I have attained, I 30 



know not) but I have endeavoured to make them not vulgar, 
but of a nature whereof a man shall find much in experience, 
little in books, so as they are neither repetitions nor fancies. 
But howsoever I shall most humbly desire your Highness 
to accept them in gracious part, and to conceive that if 
I cannot rest but must show my dutiful and devoted affec- 
tion to your Highness in these things which proceed from 
myself, I shall be much more ready to do it in performance 
of any your princely commandments. And so wishing your 
10 Highness all princely felicity, I rest 

Your Highness's most humble Servant. 

3. Edition of 161 2. 

To my Loving Brother 
Sir John Constable, Knight. 

My last Essays I dedicated to my dear brother Master 
Anthony Bacon, who is with God. Looking amongst my 
papers this vacation, I found others of the same nature : 
which if I myself shall not suffer to be lost, it seemeth the 
world will not, by the often printing of the former. Missing 
my Brother, I found you next ; in respect of bond both of 
20 near alliance, and of straight friendship and society, and 
particularly of communication in studies. Wherein I must 
acknowledge myself beholding to you. For as my business 
found rest in my contemplations, so my contemplations 
ever found rest in your loving conference and judgement. 
So wishing you all good, I remain 

Your loving brother and friend, 



[. Edition 0/1623. 

To the Right Honorable My Very Good Lord 

The Duke of Buckingham his Grace, 

Lord High Admiral of England. 


Salomon says A good name is as a precious ointment ; 
ind I assure myself, such will your Grace's name be with 
)osterity. For your future and merit both have been 
iminent. And you have planted things that are like to last. 
'. do now publish my Essays ; which of all my other works 
lave been most current : for that, as it seems, they come 10 
lome to men's business and bosoms. I have enlarged them, 
3oth in number and weight ; so that they are indeed a new 
vork. I thought it therefore agreeable to my affection and 
)bligation to your Grace to prefix your name before them, 
-Kith, in Enghsh and in Latin. For I do conceive that the 
Latin volume of them (being in the universal language) may 
ast as long as books last. My Instauration I dedicated to 
he King : my History of Henry the Seventh (which I have 
low also translated into Latin), and my Portions of Natural 
listory, to the Prince : and these I dedicate to your Grace ; 20 
)eing of the best fruits that by the good increase which God 
jives to my pen and labours I could yield. God lead your 
jrace by the hand. 

Your Grace's most obliged and 

faithful servant 



I. Of Truth 

What is truth ? said jesting Pilate ; and would not stay 
for an answer. Certainly there be that delight in giddiness, 
and count it a bondage to fix a belief ; affecting free-will 
in thinking, as well as in acting. And though the sects of 
philosophers of that kind be gone, yet there remain certain 
discoursing wits, which are of the same veins, though there 
be not so much blood in them as was in those of the ancients. 
But it is not only the difficulty and labour which men take 
in finding out of truth ; nor again, that when it is found, 

lo it imposeth upon men's thoughts, that doth bring lies in 
favour ; but a natural though corrupt love of the lie itself. 
One of the later school of the Grecians examineth the 
matter, and is at a stand to think what should be in it, that 
men should love hes ; where neither they make for pleasure, 
as with poets ; nor for advantage, as with the merchant ; 
but for the lie's sake. But I cannot tell : this same truth 
is a naked and open daylight, that doth not show the 
masques, and mummeries, and triumphs of the world, half 
so stately and daintily as candle-lights. Truth may perhaps 

20 come to the price of a pearl, that showeth best by day, but 
it will not rise to the price of a diamond or carbuncle, that 
showeth best in varied lights. A mixture of a lie doth ever 
add pleasure. Doth any man doubt that if there were taken 
out of men's minds vain opinions, flattering hopes, false 
valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, but 
it would leave the minds of a number of men poor shrunken 
things, full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing 
to themselves ? One of the fathers, in great severity, called 
poesy vinum daemonum, because it filleth the imagination, 

30 and yet it is but with the shadow of a lie. But it is not the lie 
that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in, 
and settleth in it, that doth the hurt, such as we spake of 
before. But howsoever these things are thus in men's 


depraved judgements and affections, yet truth, which only 
doth judge itself, teacheth that the inquiry of truth, which is 
the lovemaking or wooing of it, the knowledge of truth, 
which is the presence of it, and the belief of truth, which 
is the enjoj^ngof it, is the sovereign good of human nature. 
The first creature of God, in the works of the days, was 
the light of the sense ; the last was the light of reason ; 
and his sabbath work ever since is the illumination of his 
Spirit. First he breathed light upon the face of the matter 
or chaos ; then he breathed light into the face of man ; and lo 
still he breatheth and inspireth light into the face of his 
chosen. The poet that beautified the sect that was otherwise 
inferior to the rest, saith yet excellently well : It is a 
pleasure to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tossed upon 
the sea : a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle, and 
to see a battle and the adventures thereof below : but no 
pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage 
ground of truth, (a hill not to be commanded, and where the 
air is always clear and serene), and to see the errors, and 
wanderings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale below : so 20 
always that this prospect be with pity, and not with swell- 
ing or pride. Certainly, it is heaven upon earth, to have 
a man's mind move in charity, rest in providence, and turn 
upon the poles of truth. 

To pass from theological and philosophical truth to the 
truth of civil business ; it will be acknowledged, even by 
those that practise it not, that clear and round dealing 
is the honour of man's nature, and that mixture of false- 
hood is like alloy in coin of gold and silver, which may 
make the metal work the better, but it embaseth it. For 30 
these winding and crooked courses are the goings of the 
serpent ; which goeth basely upon the belly, and not upon 
the feet. There is no vice that doth so cover a man with 
shame as to be found false and perfidious. And therefore 
Montaigne saith prettily, when he inquired the reason why 


the word of the He should be such a disgrace, and such an 
odious charge, saith he. If it he well weighed, to say that a man 
lieth, is as much to say as that he is brave towards God and a 
coward towards men. For a lie faces God, and shrinks from 
man. Surely the wickedness of falsehood and breach of 
faith cannot possibly be so highly expressed, as in that it 
shall be the last peal to call the judgements of God upon 
the generations of men : it being foretold that, when Christ 
cometh, he shall not find faith upon the earth. 

II. Of Death 

to Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark ; and 
as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so 
is the other. Certainly, the contemplation of death, as 
the wages of sin, and passage to another world, is holy and 
religious ; but the fear of it, as a tribute due unto nature, 
is weak. Yet in religious meditations there is sometimes 
mixture of vanity and of superstition. You shall read, in 
some of the friars' books of mortification, that a man should 
think with himself what the pain is if he have but his 
finger's end pressed or tortured, and thereby imagine what 

20 the pains of death are, when the whole body is corrupted 
and dissolved ; when many times death passeth with less 
pain than the torture of a limb ; for the most vital parts 
are not the quickest of sense. And by him that spake only 
as a philosopher, and natural man, it was well said, Pompa 
mortis magis terret quam mors ipsa. Groans and convulsions, 
and a discoloured face, and friends weeping, and blacks, 
and obsequies, and the like, show death terrible. It is 
worthy the observing, that there is no passion in the mind 
of man so weak, but it mates and masters the fear of death ; 

30 and therefore death is no such terrible enemy when a man 
hath so many attendants about him that can win the com- 
bat of him. Revenge triumphs over death ; love slights it ; 



honour aspireth to it ; grief flieth to it ; fear pre-occupateth 
it ; nay we read, after Otho the emperor had slain himself, 
pity (which is the tenderest of affections) provoked many 
to die out of mere compassion to their sovereign, and as the 
truest sort of followers. Nay Seneca adds niceness and 
satiety : Cogita quamdiu eadem feceris ; mori velle, non 
tantum fortis, aut miser, sed eiiam fasiidiosus potest. A man 
would die, though he were neither valiant nor miserable, 
only upon a weariness to do the same thing so oft over and 
over. It is no less worthy to observe, how little alteration lo 
in good spirits the approaches of death make : for they 
appear to be the same men till the last instant. Augustus 
Caesar died in a compliment ; Livia, conjugii nostri memor, 
vive et vale. Tiberius in dissimulation, as Tacitus saith of 
him ; lam Tiherium vires et corpus, non dissimulatio , 
deserebant. Vespasian in a jest, sitting upon the stool, Ut 
puto Deus fio. Galba with a sentence, Feri, si ex re sit 
populi Romani, holding forth his neck. Septimius SeveruG 
in dispatch, Adeste, si quid mihi restat agendum ; and the 
like. Certainly the Stoics bestowed too much cost upon 20 
death, and by their great preparations made it appear more 
fearful. Better saith he, qui finem vitae extremum inter 
munera ponat naturae. It is as natural to die as to be born ; 
and to a little infant, perhaps, the one is as painful as the 
other. He that dies in an earnest pursuit is like one that is 
wounded in hot blood, who, for the time, scarce feels the 
hurt ; and therefore a mind fixed and bent upon somewhat 
that is good doth avert the dolours of death. But above 
all, believe it, the sweetest canticle is Nunc dimittis, when 
a man hath obtained worthy ends and expectations. 3° 
Death hath this also, that it openeth the gate to good fame, 
and extinguisheth envy. 

— Extinctus amahitur idem. 



V. 0/ Adversity 

It was a high speech oi Seneca (after the manner of the 
Stoics) that the good things which belong to prosperity are 
to be wished, but the good things that belong to adversity are 
to be admired. Bona rerum secundarum optabilia ; adver- 
sarum mirabilia. Certainly if miracles be the command 
over nature, they appear most in adversity. It is yet a 
higher speech of his than the other, (much too high for a 
heathen) It is true greatness to have in one the frailty of a man, 
and the security of a God. Vere magnum habere fragilitatem 

10 hominis, securitatem Dei. This would have done better in 
poesy, where transcendences are more allowed. And the 
poets, indeed, have been busy with it ; for it is, in effect, 
the thing which is figured in that strange fiction of the 
ancient poets, which seemeth not to be without mystery ; 
nay, and to have some approach to the state of a Christian : 
that Hercules, when he went to unbind Prometheus (by 
whom human nature is represented), sailed the length of the 
great ocean in an earthen pot or pitcher : lively describing 
Christian resolution, that saileth in the frail bark of t^ie 

20 flesh through the waves of the world. But to speak in a 
mean. The virtue of prosperity is temperance ; the virtue 
of adversity is fortitude ; which in morals is the more 
heroical virtue. Prosperity is the blessing of the Old 
Testament ; adversity is the blessing of the New, which 
carrieth the greater benediction, and the clearer revelation 
of God's favour. Yet even in the Old Testament, if you listen 
to David's harp, you shall hear as many hearse-like airs as 
carols ; and the pencil of the Holy Ghost hath laboured more 
in describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities of Salo- 

30 mon. Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; 
and adversity is not without comforts and hopes. We see 
in needleworks and embroideries it is more pleasing to have 
a lively work upon a sad and solemn ground, than to have 


a dark and. melancholy work upon a lightsome ground : 
judge therefore of the pleasure of the heart by the pleasure 
of the eye. Certainly virtue is like precious odours, 
most fragrant when they are incensed, or crushed : for 
prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best 
discover virtue. 

VI. Of Simulation and Dissimulation 

Dissimulation is but a faint kind of policy, or wisdom ; 
for it asketh a strong wit and a strong heart to know when 
to tell truth, and to do it. Therefore it is the weaker sort 
of politics that are the great dissemblers. 10 

Tacitus saith, Livia sorted well with the arts of her husband, 
and dissimulation of her son ; attributing arts or policy to 
Augustus, and dissimulation to Tiberius. And again, when 
Mucianus encourageth Vespasian to take arms against 
Vitellius, he saith. We rise not against the piercing judge- 
ment of Augustus, nor the extreme caution or closeness of 
Tiberius. These properties of arts or policy, and dissimula- 
tion or closeness, are indeed habits and faculties, several, 
and to be distinguished. For if a man have that penetra- 
tion of judgement as he can discern what things are to be 20 
laid open, and what to be secretted, and what to be showed 
at half-lights, and to whom, and when (which indeed are 
arts of state, and arts of life, as Tacitus well calleth them), 
to him a habit of dissimulation is a hindrance and a poor- 
ness. But if a man cannot obtain to that judgement, then 
it is left to him, generally, to be close, and a dissembler : 
for where a man cannot choose or vary in particulars, there 
it is good to take the safest and wariest way in general, 
like the going softly by one that cannot well see. Certainly 
the ablest men that ever were, have had all an openness 30 
and frankness of dealing, and. a name of certainty and 
veracity ; but then they were like horses well managed, 

E 2 


for they could tell passing well when to stop or turn ; and 
at such times when they thought the case indeed required 
dissimulation, if then they used it, it came to pass that 
the former opinion, spread abroad, of their good faith and 
clearness of dealing, made them almost invisible. 

There be three degrees of this hiding and veiling of a 
man's self : the first, closeness, reservation, and secrecy ; 
when a man leaveth himself without observation, or with- 
out hold to be taken, what he is : the second, dissimulation 

lo in the negative ; when a man lets fall signs and arguments 
that he is not that he is : and the third, simulation in the 
affirmative ; when a man industriously and expressly feigns 
and pretends to be that he is not. 

For the first of these, secrecy, it is indeed the virtue of 
a confessor ; and assuredly the secret man heareth many 
confessions ; for who will open himself to a blab or a 
babbler ? But if a man be thought secret, it inviteth 
discovery ; as the more close air sucketh in the more open ; 
and as in confession the revealing is not for worldly use, 

20 but for the ease of a man's heart, so secret men come to the 
knowledge of many things in that kind, while men rather 
discharge their minds than impart their minds. In few 
words, mysteries are due to secrecy. Besides (to say truth), 
nakedness is uncomely, as well in mind as body ; and it 
addeth no small reverence to men's manners and actions if 
they be not altogether open. As for talkers and futile 
persons, they are commonly vain and credulous withal : 
for he that talketh what he knoweth, will also talk what he 
knoweth not. Therefore set it down, that a habit of secrecy 

30 is both politic and moral. And in this part it is good that 
a man's face give his tongue leave to speak ; for the dis- 
covery of a man's self by the tracts of his countenance is 
a great weakness and betraying, by how much it is many 
times more marked and believed than a man's words. 
For the second, which is dissimulation. It followeth 


many times upon secrecy by a necessity ; so that he that 
will be secret must be a dissembler in some degree. For 
men are too cunning to suffer a man to keep an indifferent 
carriage between both, and to be secret, without swaying 
the balance on either side. They will so beset a man with 
questions, and draw him on, and pick it out of him, that 
without an absurd silence, he must show an inclination 
one way ; or if he do not, they will gather as much by his 
silence as by his speech. As for equivocations, or oraculous 
speeches, they cannot hold out long. So that no man can 10 
be secret, except he give himself a little scope of dissimula- 
tion, which is, as it were, but the skirts or train of secrecy. 

But for the third degree, which is simulation and false 
profession, that I hold more culpable, and less pohtic, 
except it be in great and rare matters. And therefore a 
general custom of simulation (which is this last degree) is 
a vice rising either of a natural falseness or tearfulness, or 
of a mind that hath some main faults ; which because a 
man must needs disguise, it maketh him practise simulation 
in other things, lest his hand should be out of ure. 20 

The great advantages of simulation and dissimulation 
are three. First, to lay asleep opposition, and to surprise ; 
for where a man's intentions are published, it is an alarum 
to call up all that are against them. The second is, to 
reserve to a man's self a fair retreat ; for if a man engage 
himself by a manifest declaration, he must go through, or 
take a fall. The third is, the better to discover the mind of 
another ; for to him that opens himself men will hardly show 
themselves adverse ; but will (fair) let him go on, and turn 
their freedom of speech to freedom of thought ; and there- 30 
fore it is a good shrewd proverb of the Spaniard, Tell a lie 
and find a truth; as if there were no way of discovery but 
by simulation. There be also three disadvantages to set it 
even. The first, that simulation and dissimulation commonly 
carry with them a show of tearfulness, which in any 


business doth spoil the feathers of round flying up to the 
mark. The second, that it puzzleth and perplexeth the 
conceits of many, that perhaps would otherwise co-operate 
with him, and makes a man walk almost alone to his own 
ends. The third and greatest is, that it depriveth a man of 
one of the most principal instruments for action, which is 
trust and belief. The best composition and temperature 
is, to have openness in fame and opinion ; secrecy in habit ; 
dissimulation in seasonable use ; and a power to feign, if 
lo there be no remedy. 

XI. Of Great Place 

Men in great place are thrice servants : servants of the 
sovereign or state, servants of fame, and servants of business ; 
so as they have no freedom, neither in their persons, nor in 
their actions, nor in their times. It is a strange desire to 
seek power and to lose liberty ; or to seek power over 
others, and to lose power over a man's self. The rising unto 
place is laborious, and by pains men come to greater pains ; 
and it is sometimes base, and by indignities men come to 
dignities. The standing is slippery, and the regress is either 

20 a downfall, or at least an eclipse, which is a melancholy 
thing. Cum non sis qui fueris, non esse cur velis vivere. 
Nay, retire men cannot when they would, neither will they 
when it were reason ; but are impatient of privateness even 
in age and sickness, which require the shadow ; like old 
townsmen, that will be still sitting at their street-door, 
though thereby they offer age to scorn. Certainly great 
persons had need to borrow other men's opinions to think 
themselves happy ; for if they judge by their own feelings 
they cannot find it ; but if they think with themselves 

30 what other men think of them, and that other men would 
fain be as they are, then they are happy as it were by 
report, when, perhaps, they find the contrary within ; for 


they are the first that find, their own griefs, though they be 
the last that find, their own faults. Certainly, men in great 
fortunes are strangers to themselves, and while they are in 
the puzzle of business they have no time to tend their health 
either of body or mind. Illi mors gravis incuhat, qui notus 
nimis omnibus, ignotus moritur sihi. In place, there is 
hcence to do good, and evil ; whereof the latter is a curse ; 
for in evil the best condition is not to will, the second not 
to can. But power to do good is the true and lawful end of 
aspiring ; for good thoughts (though God accept them) yet 10 
towards men are little better than good dreams, except 
they be put in act ; and that cannot be without power and 
place, as the vantage and commanding ground. Merit and 
good works is the end of man's motion ; and conscience of 
the same is the accomplishment of man's rest : for if a man 
can be partaker of God's theatre, he shall likewise be par- 
taker of God's rest. Et conversus Deus, ut aspiceret opera 
quae fecerunt manus suae, vidit quod omnia essent bona nimis; 
and then the Sabbath. 

In the discharge of thy place set before thee the best 20 
examples ; for imitation is a globe of precepts. And after 
a time set before thee thine own example^; and examine 
thyself strictly whether thou didst not best at first. Neglect 
not also the examples of those that have carried themselves 
ill in the same place ; not to set off thyself by taxing their 
memory, but to direct thyself what to avoid. Reform, 
therefore, without bravery or scandal of former times and 
persons ; but yet set it down to thyself, as well to create 
good precedents as to follow them. Reduce things to the 
first institution, and observe wherein and how they have 30 
degenerate ; but yet ask counsel of both times ; of the 
ancient time what is best, and of the latter time what is 
fittest. Seek to make thy course regular, that men may 
know beforehand what they may expect ; but be not too 
positive and peremptory ; and express thyself well when 


thou digressest from thy rule. Preserve the right of thy 
place, but stir not questions of jurisdiction ; and rather 
assume thy right in silence and de facto, than voice it with 
claims and challenges. Preserve likewise the rights of 
inferior places ; and think it more honour to direct in 
chief than to be busy in all. Embrace and invite helps and 
advices touching the execution of thy place ; and do not 
drive away such as bring thee information as meddlers, 
but accept of them in good part. 

lo The vices of authority are chiefly four : delays, corrup- 
tion, roughness, and facility. For delays, give easy access ; 
keep times appointed ; go through with that which is in 
hand ; and interlace not business but of necessity. For 
corruption, do not only bind thine own hands or thy 
servants' hands from taking, but bind the hands of suitors 
also from offering ; for integrity used doth the one ; but 
integrity professed, and with a manifest detestation of 
bribery, doth the other ; and avoid not only the fault, but 
the suspicion. Whosoever is found' variable, and changeth 

20 manifestly without manifest cause, giveth suspicion of 
corruption : therefore, always, when thou changest thine 
opinion or course, profess it plainly and declare it, together 
with the reasons that move thee to change, and do not 
think to steal it. A servant or a favourite, if he be inward, 
and no other apparent cause of esteem, is commonly thought 
but a by-way to close corruption. For roughness, it is a 
needless cause of discontent : severity breedeth fear, but 
roughness breedeth hate. Even reproofs from authority 
ought to be grave, and not taunting. As for facility, it is 

30 worse than bribery ; for bribes come but now and then ; but 
if importunity or idle respects lead a man, he shall never 
be without. As Salomon saith. To respect persons is not 
good ; for such a man will transgress for a piece of bread. 

It is most true that was anciently spoken ; A place 
showeth the man : and it showeth some to the better and 


some to the worse. Omnium consensu capax imperii, nisi 
imperasset, saith Tacitus of Galba ; but of Vespasian he 
saith, Solus imperantium Vespasianus mutatus in melius: 
though the one was meant of sufficiency, the other of manners 
and affection. It is an assured sign of a worthy and gener- 
ous spirit, whom honour amends ; for honour is or should 
be the place of virtue ; and as in nature things move 
violently to their place, and calmly in their place, so virtue 
in ambition is violent, in authority settled and calm. All 
rising to great place is by a winding stair ; and if there be 10 
factions, it is good to side a man's self whilst he is in the 
rising, and to balance himself when he is placed. Use the 
memory of thy predecessor fairly and tenderly ; for if 
thou dost not, it is a debt will sure be paid when thou art 
gone. If thou have colleagues, respect them, and rather 
call them when they look not for it, than exclude them 
when they have reason to look to be called. Be not too 
sensible or too remembering of thy place in conversation 
and private answers to suitors ; but let it rather be said. 
When he sits in place, he is another man. 20 

XIV. Of NoUlity 

We will speak of nobility first as a portion of an estate ; 
then as a condition of particular persons. A monarchy, 
where there is no nobility at all, is ever a pure and absolute 
tyranny, as that of the Turks ; for nobility attempers 
sovereignty, and draws the eyes of the people somewhat 
aside from the line royal. But for democracies, they need 
it not ; and they are commonly more quiet and less subject 
to sedition than where there are stirps of nobles ; for men's 
eyes are upon the business, and not upon the persons ; or 
if upon the persons, it is for the business' sake, as fittest, 3° 
and not for flags and pedigree. We see the Switzers last 
well, notwithstanding their diversity of religion and of 
cantons ; for utility is their bond, and not respects. The 


United Provinces of the Low Countries in their govern- 
ment excel ; for where there is an equahty the consulta- 
tions are more indifferent, and the payments and tributes 
more cheerful. A great and potent nobility addeth majesty 
to a monarch, but diminisheth power ; and putteth life 
and spirit into the people, but presseth their fortune. It 
is well when nobles are not too great for sovereignty nor for 
justice ; and yet maintained in that height, as the insolency 
of inferiors may be broken upon them before it come on 

lo too fast upon the majesty of kings. A numerous nobility 
causeth poverty and inconvenience in a state, for it is a 
surcharge of expense; and besides, it being of necessity that 
many of the nobility fall in time to be weak in fortune, it 
maketh a kind of disproportion between honour and means. 
As for nobility in particular persons ; it is a reverend 
thing to see an ancient castle or. building not in decay, 
or to see a fair timber-tree sound and perfect ; how much 
more to behold an ancient noble family, which hath stood 
against the waves and weathers of time : for new nobility 

20 is but the act of power, but ancient nobility is the act of 
time. Those that are first raised to nobility are commonly 
more virtuous but less innocent than their descendants ; 
for there is rarely any rising but by a commixture of good 
and evil arts ; but it is reason the memory of their virtues 
remain to their posterity, and their faults die with them- 
selves. Nobility of birth commonly abateth industry ; and 
he that is not industrious envieth him that is. Besides, 
noble persons cannot go much higher ; and he that standeth 
at a stay when others rise can hardly avoid motions of 

30 envy. On the other side, nobility extinguisheth the passive 
envy from others towards them, because they are in 
possession of honour. Certainly kings that have able men 
of their nobility shall find ease in employing them, and a 
better slide into their business ; for people naturally bend 
to them as bom in some sort to command. 


XVII. Of Superstition 

It were better to have no opinion of God at all than 
such an opinion as is unworthy of him ; for the one is 
unbelief, the other is contumely : and certainly super- 
stition is the reproach of the Deity. Plutarch saith well to 
that purpose : Surely, saith he, I had. rather a great deal 
men should say there was no such man at all as Plutarch, 
than that they should say that there was one Plutarch that 
would eat his children as soon as they were horn, as the 
poets speak of Saturn. And, as the contumely is greater 
towards God, so the danger is greater towards men. Athe- 10 
ism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, 
to laws, to reputation : all which may be guides to an out- 
ward moral virtue, though religion were not ; but supersti- 
tion dismounts all these, and erecteth an absolute monarchy 
in the minds of men. Therefore atheism did never perturb 
states ; for it makes men wary of themselves, as looking 
no further : and we see the times inclined to atheism (as 
the time of Augustus Caesar) were civil times. But super- 
stition hath been the confusion of many states, and bringeth 
in a new primum mobile that ravisheth all the spheres 20 
of government. The master of superstition is the people ; 
and in all superstition wise men follow fools ; and argu- 
ments are fitted to practice in a reversed order. It was 
gravely said by some of the prelates in the Council of Trent, 
where the doctrine of the schoolmen bare great sway, that 
the schoolmen were like astronomers, which did feign eccentrics 
and epicycles, and such engines of orbs to save the phenomena, 
though they knew there were no such things : and, in like 
manner, that the schoolmen had framed a number of 
subtile and intricate axioms and theorems, to save the 30 
practice of the Church. The causes of superstition are : 
pleasing and sensual rites and ceremonies ; excess of out- 
ward and Pharisaical holiness ; overgreat reverence of 


traditions, which cannot but load the Church ; the strata- 
gems of prelates for their own ambition and lucre ; the 
favouring too much of good intentions, which openeth the 
gate to conceits and novelties ; the taking an aim at divine 
matters by human, which cannot but breed mixture of 
imaginations; and lastly, barbarous times, especially 
joined with calamities and disasters. Superstition, without 
a veil, is a deformed thing ; for as it addeth deformity to 
an ape to be so like a man, so the similitude of superstition 
lo to religion makes it the more deformed : and as wholesome 
meat corrupteth to httle worms, so good forms and orders 
corrupt into a number of petty observances. There is a 
superstition in avoiding superstition, when men think to 
do best if they go furthest from the superstition formerly 
received ; therefore care would be had that (as it fareth 
in ill purgings) the good be not taken away with the bad, 
which commonly is done when the people is the reformer. 

XVIII. Of Travel 

Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education ; in 
the elder, a part of experience. He that travelleth into a 

20 country before he hath some entrance into the language, 
goeth to school, and not to travel. That young men travel 
under some tutor or grave servant, I allow well ; so that 
he be such a one that hath the language, and hath been in 
the country before ; whereby he may be able to tell them 
what things are worthy to be seen in the country where 
they go, what acquaintances they are to seek, what ex- 
ercises or discipline the place yieldeth ; for else young men 
shall go hooded, and look abroad little. It is a strange thing, 
that in sea voyages, where there is nothing to be seen but 

30 sky and sea, men should make diaries ; but in land travel, 
wherein so much is to be observed, for the most part they 
omit it ; as if chance were fitter to be registered than 


observation. Let diaries, therefore, be brought in use. 
The things to be seen and observed are : the courts of 
princes, especially when they give audience to ambassadors : 
the courts of justice, while they sit and hear causes ; and 
so of consistories ecclesiastic : the churches and monasteries, 
with the monuments which are therein extant : the walls 
and fortifications of cities and towns ; and so the havens 
and harbours : antiquities, and ruins : libraries ; colleges, 
disputations, and lectures, where any are : shipping and 
navies : houses, and gardens of state, and pleasure, near lo 
great cities : armories : arsenals : magazines : exchanges : 
burses ; warehouses : exercises of horsemanship ; fencing ; 
training of soldiers, and the like : comedies, such where- 
unto the better sort of persons do resort ; treasuries of 
jewels and robes ; cabinets, and rarities : and, to conclude, 
whatsoever is memorable in the places where they go ; 
after all which the tutors or servants ought to make 
diligent inquiry. As for triumphs, masques, feasts, wed- 
dings, funerals capital executions, and such shows, men 
need not to be put in mind of them : yet are they not 20 
to be neglected. If you will have a young man to put his 
travel into a little room, and in short time to gather much, 
this you must do. First, as was said, he must have some 
entrance into the language before he goeth. Then he must 
have such a servant or tutor as knoweth the country, as 
was hkewise said. Let him carry with him also some card 
or book describing the country where he travelleth, which 
will be a good key to his inquiry. Let him keep also a diary. 
Let him not stay long in one city or town, more or less as 
the place deserveth, but not long ; nay, when he stayeth 30 
in one city or town, let him change his lodging from one 
end and part of the town to another, which is a great 
adamant of acquaintance. Let him sequester himself from 
the company of his countrymen, and diet in such places 
where there is good company of the nation where he 


travelleth. Let him, upon his removes from one place 
to another, procure recommendation to some person of 
quality residing in the place whither he removeth, that he 
may use his favour in those things he desireth to see or 
know. Thus he may abridge his travel, with much profit. 
As for the acquaintance which is to be sought in travel, that 
which is most of all profitable, is acquaintance with the 
secretaries and employed men of ambassadors ; for so in 
travelling in one country he shall suck the experience of 

lo many. Let him also see and visit eminent persons in all 
kinds, which are of great name abroad, that he may be able 
to tell how the life agreeth with the fame. For quarrels, 
they are with care and discretion to be avoided ; they are 
commonly for mistresses, healths, place, and words. And 
let a man beware how he keepeth company with choleric 
and quarrelsome persons ; for they will engage him into 
their own quarrels. When a traveller returneth home, let 
him not leave the countries where he hath travelled alto- 
gether behind him, but maintain a correspondence by letters 

20 with those of his acquaintance which are of most worth. 
And let his travel appear rather in his discourse than in his 
apparel or gesture : and in his discourse let him be rather 
advised in his answers, than forwards to tell stories : and 
let it appear that he doth not change his country manners 
for those of foreign parts ; but only prick in some flowers 
of that he hath learned abroad into the customs of his own 

XX. Of Counsel 

The greatest trust between man and man is the trust of 

giving counsel. For in other confidences men commit the 

30 parts of hfe ; their lands, their goods, their children, their 

credit, some particular affair ; but to such as they make 

their counsellors they commit the whole : by how much 


the more they are obliged to all faith and integrity. The 
wisest princes need not think it any diminution to their 
greatness, or derogation to their sufficiency, to rely upon 
counsel. God himself is not without, but hath made it one 
of the great names of his blessed Son, The Counsellor. 
Salomon hath pronounced that in counsel is stability. 
Things will have their first or second agitation : if they be 
not tossed upon the arguments of counsel, they will be 
tossed upon the waves of fortune, and be full of inconstancy, 
doing and undoing, like the reeling of a drunken man. 10 
Salomon's son found the force of counsel, as his father saw 
the necessity of it : for the beloved kingdom of God was 
first rent and broken by ill counsel ; upon which counsel 
there are set for our instruction the two marks whereby bad 
counsel is for ever best discerned, that it was young counsel 
for the persons, and violent counsel for the matter. 

The ancient times do set forth in figure both the in- 
corporation and inseparable conjunction of counsel with 
Kings, and the wise and politic use of counsel by Kings : 
the one, in that they say Jupiter did marry Metis, which 20 
signifieth counsel, whereby they intend that sovereignty is 
married to counsel ; the other, in that which foUoweth, 
which was thus : they say, after Jupiter was married to 
Metis, she conceived by him and was with child ; but 
Jupiter suffered her not to stay till she brought forth, but 
eat her up ; whereby he became himself with child, and 
was delivered of Pallas armed, out of his head. Which 
monstrous fable containeth a secret of empire, how Kings 
are to make use of their counsel of state : that first, they 
ought to refer matters unto them, which is the first be- 30 
getting or impregnation ; but when they are elaborate, 
moulded, and shaped in the womb of their council, and 
grow ripe and ready to be brought forth, that then they 
suffer not their council to go through with the resolution 
and direction, as if it depended on them ; but take the 

04 XLOO-fi X o 

matter back into their own hands, and make it appear to 
the world, that the decrees and final directions (which, 
because they come forth with prudence and power, are 
resembled to Pallas armed), proceeded from themselves ; 
and not only from their authority, but (the more to add 
reputation to themselves) from their head and device. 

Let us now speak of the inconveniences of counsel, and 
of the remedies. The inconveniences that have been noted 
in calling and using counsel, are three : first, the revealing 

lo of affairs, whereby they become less secret ; secondly, the 
weakening of the authority of princes, as if they were less 
of themselves ; thirdly the danger of being unfaithfully 
counselled, and more for the good of them that counsel 
than of him that is counselled. For which inconveniences, 
the doctrine of Italy, and practice of France in some Kings' 
times, hath introduced cabinet counsels ; a remedy worse 
than the disease. 

As to secrecy ; princes are not bound to communicate 
all matters with all counsellors, but may extract and 

20 select. Neither is it necessary that he that consult eth 
what he should do, should declare what he will do. But let 
princes beware that the unsecreting of their affairs comes 
not from themselves. And as for cabinet counsels, it may 
be their motto, Plenus rimarum sunt : one futile person, 
that maketh it his glory to tell, will do more hurt than 
many, that know it their duty to conceal. It is true there 
be some affairs, which require extreme secrecy, which will 
hardly go beyond one or two persons besides the King: 
neither are those counsels unprosperous ; for, besides the 

30 secrecy, they commonly go on constantly in one spirit of 
direction without distraction. But then it must be a 
prudent King, such as is able to grind with a handmill ; 
and those inward counsellors had need also be wise men, 
and especially true and trusty to the King's ends ; as it 
was with King Henry the Seventh of England, who in his 


greatest business imparted himself to none, except it were 
to Morton and Fox. 

For weakening of authority ; the fable showeth the 
remedy. Nay, the majesty of Kings is rather exalted than 
diminished when they are in the chair of counsel ; neither 
was there ever prince bereaved of his dependances by his 
council, except where there hath been either an over- 
greatness in one counsellor, or an over strict combination 
in divers, which are things soon found and holpen. 

For the last inconvenience, that men will counsel with 10 
an eye to themselves ; certainly, non inveniet fidem super 
terram is meant of the nature of times, and not of all par- 
ticular persons. There be that are in nature faithful and 
sincere, and plain and direct, not crafty and involved : let 
princes, above all, draw to themselves such natures. 
Besides, counsellors are not commonly so united, but that 
one counsellor keepeth sentinel over another ; so that if 
any do counsel out of faction or private ends, it commonly 
comes to the King's ear. But the best remedy is, if princes 
know their counsellors as well as their counsellors know 20 
them : 

Principis est virtus maxima nosse suos. 

And on the other side, counsellors should not be too 
speculative into their sovereign's person. The true com- 
position of a counsellor is rather to be skilful in their 
master's business than in his nature ; for then he is like to 
advise him, and not to feed his humour. It is of singular 
use to princes if they take the opinions of their council both 
separately and together ; for private opinion is more free, 
but opinion before others is more reverend. In private, 30 
men are more bold in their own humours ; and in consort, 
men are more obnoxious to others' humours ; therefore 
it is good to take both : and of the inferior sort rather 
in private, to preserve freedom ; of the greater rather in 
2179-16 F 

£,C30rV I v3 

consort, to preserve respect. It is in vain for princes to 
take counsel concerning matters, if they take no counsel 
likewise concerning persons ; for all matters are as dead 
images, and the life of the execution of affairs resteth in the 
good choice of persons. Neither is it enough to consult 
concerning persons, secundum genera, as in an idea or 
mathematical description, what the kind and character of 
the person should be ; for the greatest errors are committed, 
and the most judgement is shown, in the choice of indi- 

lo viduals. It was truly said, Optimi consiliarii mortui ; 
books will speak plain when counsellors blanch. Therefore 
it is good to be conversant in them, specially the books of 
such as themselves have been actors upon the stage. 

The councils at this day in most places are but familiar 
meetings, where matters are rather talked on than debated ; 
and they run too swift to the order or act of council. It 
were better that in causes of weight the matter were pro- 
pounded one day and not spoken to till the next day ; In 
node consilium. So was it done in the commission of union 

20 between England and Scotland, which was a grave and 
orderly assembly. I commend set days for petitions ; for 
both it gives the suitors more certainty for their attendance, 
and it frees the meetings for matters of estate, that they 
may hoc agere. In choice of committees for ripening 
business for the council, it is better to choose indifferent 
persons, than to make an indifferency by putting in those 
that are strong on both sides. I commend also standing 
commissions ; as for trade, for treasure, for war, for suits, 
for some provinces ; for where there be divers particular 

30 councils, and but one council of estate (as it is in Spain), 
they are in effect no more than standing commissions, 
save that they have greater authority. Let such as are 
to inform councils out of their particular professions (as 
lawyers, seamen, mintmen, and the like) be first heard 
before committees ; and then, as occasion serves, before the 


council. And let them not come in multitudes, or in a 
tribunitious manner ; for that is to clamour councils, not 
to inform them. A long table and a square table, or seats 
about the walls, seem things of form, but are things of 
substance ; for at a long table a few at the upper end, in 
effect, sway all the business ; but in the other form there 
is more use of the counsellors' opinions that sit lower. A 
King, when he presides in council, let him beware how he 
opens his own inclination too much in that which he pro- 
poundeth ; for else counsellors will but take the wind of 10 
him, and instead of giving free counsel, sing him a song 
of placebo. 

XXIII. Of Wisdom for a Man's Self 

An ant is a wise creature for itself, but it is a shrewd 
thing in an orchard or garden. And certainly men that 
are great lovers of themselves waste the public. Divide 
with reason between self-love and society ; and be so true 
to thyself as thou be not false to others, specially to thy 
king and country. It is a poor centre of a man's actions, 
himself. It is right earth. For that only stands fast upon 
his own centre ; whereas all things that have affinity with 20 
the heavens move upon the centre of another, which they 
benefit. The referring of all to a man's self is more tolerable 
in a sovereign prince, because themselves are not only 
themselves, but their good and evil is at the peril of the 
public fortune. But it is a desperate evil in a servant to a 
prince, or a citizen in a republic ; for whatsoever affairs 
pass such a man's hands, he crooketh them to his own ends, 
which must needs be often eccentric to the ends of his 
master or state. Therefore let princes or states choose 
such servants as have not this mark ; except they mean 30 
their service should be made but the accessary. That 
which maketh the effect more pernicious is that all 

F 2 


proportion is lost. It were disproportion enough for the 
servant's good to be preferred before the master's ; but 
yet it is a greater extreme, when a httle good of the servant 
shall carry things against a great good of the master's. 
And yet that is the case of bad officers, treasurers, am- 
bassadors, generals, and other false and corrupt servants ; 
which set a bias upon their bowl, of their own petty ends 
and envies, to the overthrow of their master's great and 
important affairs. And for the most part the good such 

lo servants receive is after the model of their own fortune ; 
but the hurt they sell for that good is after the model of 
their master's fortune. And certainly it is the nature of 
extreme self-lovers, as they will set a house on fire, and it 
were but to roast their eggs ; and yet these men many times 
hold credit with their masters, because their study is but 
to please them, and profit themselves ; and for either 
respect they will abandon the good of their affairs. 

Wisdom for a man's self is, in many branches thereof, a 
depraved thing. It is the wisdom of rats, that will be sure 

20 to leave a house somewhat before it fall. It is the wisdom 
of the fox, that thrusts out the badger who digged and 
made room for him. It is the wisdom of crocodiles, that 
shed tears when they would devour. But that which is 
specially to be noted is that those which (as Cicero says of 
Pompey) are sui amantes sine rivali are many times un- 
fortunate ; and whereas they have all their time sacrificed 
to themselves, they become in the end themselves sacrifices 
to the inconstancy of fortune, whose wings they thought by 
their self-wisdom to have pinioned. 

XXIV. Of Innovations 

30 As the births of living creatures at first are ill-shapen, 
so are all innovations, which are the births of time. Yet 
notwithstanding, as those that first bring honour into 


their family are commonly more worthy than most that 
succeed, so the first precedent (if it be good) is seldom 
attained by imitation ; for ill, to man's nature, as it stands 
perverted, hath a natural motion, strongest in continuance ; 
but good, as a forced motion, strongest at first. Surely 
every medicine is an innovation, and he that will not apply 
new remedies must expect new evils ; for time is the great- 
est innovator ; and if time of course alter things to the 
worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the 
better, what shall be the end ? It is true, that what is 10 
settled by custom, though it be not good, yet at least it is 
fit. And those things which have long gone together are 
as it were confederate within themselves ; whereas new 
things piece not so well ; but though they help by their 
utility, yet they trouble by their inconformity. Besides, 
they are like strangers, more admired and less favoured. 
All this is true if time stood still ; which contrariwise 
moveth so round, that a froward retention of custom is as 
turbulent a thing as an innovation ; and they that reverence 
too much old times are but a scorn to the new. It were good 20 
therefore that men in their innovations would follow the 
example of time itself, which indeed innovateth greatly, 
but quietly and by degrees scarce to be perceived : for 
otherwise, whatsoever is new is unlooked for ; and ever it 
mends some and pairs other ; and he th2.t is holpen takes 
it for a fortune and thanks the time ; and he that is hurt, 
for a wrong, and imputeth it to the author. It is good also 
not to try experiments in states, except the necessity be 
urgent or the utility evident ; and well to beware that it 
be the reformation that draweth on the change, and not 30 
the desire of change that pretendeth the reformation. And 
lastly, that the novelty, though it be not rejected, yet be 
held for a suspect ; and, as the Scripture saith. That we make 
a stand upon the ancient way, and then look about us, and dis- 
cover what is the straight and right way, and so to walk in it. 


XXV. Of Dispatch 

Affected dispatch is one of the most dangerous things 
to business that can be. It is hke that which the physicians 
call predigestion, or hasty digestion, which is sure to fill 
the body full of crudities and secret seeds of diseases. 
Therefore measure not dispatch by the times of sitting, 
but by the advancement of the business. And as in races, 
it is not the large stride or high lift that makes the speed ; 
so in business, the keeping close to the matter, and not 
taking of it too much at once, procureth dispatch. It is 

lo the care of some only to come off speedily for the time, or 
to contrive some false periods of business, because they 
may seem men of dispatch. But it is one thing to abbreviate 
by contracting, another by cutting off ; and business so 
handled at several sittings or meetings goeth commonly back- 
ward and forward in an unsteady manner. I knew a wise man 
that had it for a by-word, when he saw men hasten to a 
conclusion, Stay a little, that we may make an end the sooner. 
On the other side, true dispatch is a rich thing. For time 
is the measure of business, as money is of wares ; and busi- 

20 ness is bought at a dear hand where there is small dispatch. 
The Spartans and Spaniards have been noted to be of 
small dispatch : Mi venga la muerte de Spagna ; Let my 
death come from Spain ; for then it will be sure to be long in 

Give good hearing to those that give the first informa- 
tion in business, and rather direct them in the beginning 
than interrupt them in the continuance of their speeches ; 
for he that is put out of his own order will go forward and 
backward, and be more tedious while he waits upon his 

30 memory than he could have been if he had gone on in his 
own course. But sometimes it is seen that the moderator 
is more troublesome than the actor. 

Iterations are commonly loss of time ; but there is no 


such gain of time as to iterate often the state of the question ; 
for it chaseth away many a frivolous speech as it is coming 
forth. Long and curious speeches are as fit for dispatch as 
a robe or mantle with a long train is for race. Prefaces, and 
passages, and excusations, and other speeches of reference 
to the person, are great wastes of time ; and though they 
seem to proceed of modesty, they are bravery. Yet 
beware of being too material when there is any impedi- 
ment or obstruction in men's wills ; for pre-occupation of 
mind ever requireth preface of speech, like a fomentation 10 
to make the unguent enter. 

Above all things, order and distribution and singling out 
of parts is the life of dispatch ; so as the distribution be 
not too subtile : for he that doth not divide will never enter 
well into business ; and he that divideth too much will 
never come out of it clearly. To choose time is to save 
time ; and an unseasonable motion is but beating the air. 
There be three parts of business : the preparation ; the 
debate, or examination ; and the perfection. Whereof, if 
you look for dispatch, let the middle only be the work of 20 
many, and the first and last the work of few. The proceed- 
ing upon somewhat conceived in writing doth for the most 
part facilitate dispatch ; for though it should be wholly 
rejected, yet that negative is more pregnant of direction 
than an indefinite, as ashes are more generative than dust. 

XXVII. Of Friendship 

It had been hard for him that spake it to have put more 
truth and untruth together in few words than in that speech, 
Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild heast or a 
god. For it is most true, that a natural and secret hatred and 
aversation towards society in any man hath somewhat of 30 
the savage beast ; but it is most untrue that it should have 
any character at all of the divine nature, except it proceed. 


not out of a pleasure in solitude, but out of a love and 
desire to sequester a man's self for a higher conversation : 
such as is found to have been falsely and feignedly in some 
of the heathen ; as Epimenides the Candian, Numa the 
Roman, Empedocles the Sicihan, and ApoUonius of 
Tyana ; and truly and really in divers of the ancient hermits 
and holy fathers of the Church. But httle do men perceive 
what solitude is, and how far it extendeth. For a crowd is 
not company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures, and 

lo talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love. The 
Latin adage meeteth with it a little. Magna civitas, magna 
solitudo ; because in a great town friends are scattered, so 
that there is not that fellowship, for the most part, which 
is in less neighbourhoods. But we may go further, and 
affirm most truly, that it is a mere and miserable solitude 
to want true friends, \vithout which the world is but a 
wUdemess ; and even in this sense also of solitude, who- 
soever in the frame of his nature and affections is unfit for 
friendship, he taketh it of the beast, and not from humanity. 

20 A principal fruit of friendship is the ease and discharge 
of the fulness and swellings of the heart, which passions of 
all kinds do cause and induce. We know diseases of stop- 
pings and suffocations are the most dangerous in the body ; 
and it is not much otherwise in the mind : you may take 
sarza to open the liver, steel to open the spleen, flowers of 
sulphur for the lungs, castoreum for the brain ; but no 
receipt openeth the heart but a true friend, to whom j^ou 
may impart griefs, joys, fears, hopes, suspicions, counsels, 
and whatsoever lieth upon the heart to oppress it, in a kind 

30 of civil shrift or confession. 

It is a strange thing to observe how high a rate great 
kings and monarchs do set upon this fruit of friendship 
whereof we speak : so great, as they purchase it many times 
at the hazard of their own safety and greatness. For princes, 
in regard of the distance of their fortune from that of their 


subjects and servants, cannot gather this fruit, except (to 
make themselves capable thereof) they raise some persons 
to be as it were companions, and almost equals to them- 
selves, which many times sorteth to inconvenience. The 
modern languages give unto such persons the name of 
favourites or privadoes, as if it were matter of grace or 
conversation. But the Roman name attaineth the true use 
and cause thereof, neiming them participes curarum ; for 
it is that which tieth the knot. And we see plainly that this 
hath been done, not by weak and passionate princes only, 10 
but by the wisest and most politic that ever reigned ; who 
have oftentimes joined to themselves some of their servants, 
whom both themselves have called friends, and allowed 
others likewise to call them in the same manner, using the 
word which is received between private men. 

L. Sylla, when he commanded Rome, raised Pompey 
(after sumamed the Great) to that height that Pompey 
vaunted himself for Sylla's overmatch ; for when he had 
carried the consulship for a friend of his, against the 
pursuit of Sylla, and that Sylla did a little resent thereat, 20 
and began to speak great, Pompey turned upon him again, 
and in effect bade him be quiet ; for that more men adored 
the sun rising than the sun setting. With Julius Caesar, 
Decimus Brutus had obtained that interest, as he set 
him down in his testament for heir in remainder after his 
nephew ; and this was the man that had power with him 
to draw him forth to his death : for when Caesar would 
have discharged the senate, in regard of some ill presages 
and specially a dream of Calpumia, this man lifted him 
gently by the arm out of his chair, telling him he hoped he 30 
would not dismiss the senate till his wife had dreamt a 
better dream ; and it seemeth his favour was so great, as 
Antonius, in a letter which is recited verbatim in one of 
Cicero's Phihppics, calleth him venefica, witch; as if he 
had enchanted Caesar. Augustus raised Agrippa (though 


of mean birth) to that height, as, when he consulted with 
Maecenas about the marriage of his daughter Juha, 
Maecenas took the hberty to tell him, that he must either 
marry his daughter to Agrippa, or take away his life ; there 
was no third way, he had made him so great. With Tiberius 
Caesar, Sejanus had ascended to that height as they two 
were termed and reckoned as a pair of friends. Tiberius, 
in a letter to him, saith, Haec pro amicitia nostra non 
occultavi ; and the whole senate dedicated an altar to 

]o Friendship, as to a goddess, in respect of the great dearness 
of friendship between them two. The like or more was 
between Septimius Severus and Plautianus ; for he forced 
his eldest son to marry the daughter of Plautianus, and 
would often maintain Plautianus in doing affronts to his 
son ; and did write also in a letter to the senate by these 
words, / love the man so well as I wish he may over-live me. 
Now if these princes had been as a Trajan, or a Marcus 
Aurelius, a man might have thought that this had proceeded 
of an abundant goodness of nature ; but being men so wise, 

20 of such strength and severity of mind, and so extreme lovers 
of themselves, as all these were, it proveth most plainly 
that they found their own felicity (though as great as ever 
happened to mortal men) but as an half-piece, except they 
might have a friend to make it entire ; and yet, which is 
more, they were princes that had wives, sons, nephews ; 
and yet all these could not supply the comfort of friendship. 
It is not to be forgotten what Comineus observeth of his 
first master, Duke Charles the Hardy ; namely, that he 
would communicate his secrets with none ; and least of all 

30 those secrets which troubled him most. Whereupon he 
goeth on and saith that towards his latter time that closeness 
did impair and a little perish his understanding. Surely 
Comineus might have made the same judgement also, if it 
had pleased him, of his second master, Lewis the Eleventh, 
whose closeness was indeed his tormentor. The parable 


of Pythagoras is dark but true. Cor ne edito, — eat not the 
heart. Certainly, if a man would give it a hard phrase, 
those that want friends to open themselves unto are canni • 
bals of their own hearts. But one thing is most admirable 
(wherewith I will conclude this first fruit of friendship), 
which is, that this communicating of a man's self to his 
friend works two contrary effects ; for it redoubleth joys, 
and cutteth griefs in halves. For there is no man that 
imparteth his joys to his friend, but he joyeth the more ; 
and no man that imparteth his griefs to his friend, but he 10 
grieveth the less. So that it is, in truth of operation upon 
a man's mind, of like virtue as the alchymists used to attri- 
bute to their stone for man's body, that it worketh all 
contrary effects, but still to the good and benefit of nature. 
But yet, without praying in aid of alchymists, there is a 
manifest image of this in the ordinary course of nature. 
For, in bodies, union strengtheneth and cherisheth any 
natural action, and, on the other side, weakeneth and 
dulleth any violent impression ; and even so is it of minds. 

The second fruit of friendship is healthful and sovereign 20 
for the understanding, as the first is for the affections. For 
friendship maketh indeed a fair day in the affections from 
storm and tempests, but it maketh daylight in the under- 
standing, out of darkness and confusion of thoughts. 
Neither is this to be understood only of faithful counsel, 
which a man receiveth from his friend ; but before you 
come to that, certain it is that whosoever hath his mind 
fraught with many thoughts, his wits and understanding 
do clarify and break up in the communicating and discours- 
ing with another ; he tosseth his thoughts more easily ; he 3° 
marshalleth them more orderly ; he seeth how they look 
when they are turned into words ; finally, he waxeth wiser 
than himself ; and that more by an hour's discourse than 
by a day's meditation. It was well said by Themistocles 
to the king of Persia, That speech was like cloth of Arras 


opened and put abroad ; whereby the imagery doth appear in 
figure ; whereas in thoughts they lie but as in packs. Neither 
is this second fruit of friendship, in opening the under- 
standing, restrained only to such friends as are able to give 
a man counsel ; (they indeed are best) ; but even without 
that a man leameth of himself, and bringeth his own 
thoughts to light, and whetteth his wits as against a stone 
which itself cuts not. In a word, a man were better relate 
himself to a statua or picture, than to suffer his thoughts to 

:o pass in smother. 

Add now, to make this second fruit of friendship complete, 
that other point which lieth more open, and falleth within 
vulgar observation ; which is faithful counsel from a friend. 
Heraclitus saith well in one of his enigmas. Dry light is ever 
the best. And certain it is that the light that a man receiveth 
by counsel from another is drier and purer than that which 
cometh from his own understanding and judgement ; which 
is ever infused and drenched in his affections and customs. 
So as there is as much difference betweeen the counsel that 

20 a friend giveth, and that a man giveth himself, as there is 
between the counsel of a friend and of a flatterer ; for there 
is no such flatterer as is a man's self, and there is no such 
remedy against flattery of a man's self as the liberty of 
a friend. Counsel is of two sorts ; the one concerning 
manners, the other concerning business. For the first, the 
best preservative to keep the mind in health is the faithful 
admonition of a friend. The calling of a man's self to a 
strict account is a medicine sometimes too piercing and 
corrosive. Reading good books of morality is a little flat 
30 and dead. Observing our faults in others is sometimes 
unproper for our case. But the best receipt (best, I say, to 
work, and best to take) is the admonition of a friend. It is 
a strange thing to behold what gross errors and extreme 
absurdities many (especially of the greater sort) do commit 
for want of a friend to tell them of them, to the great 


damage both of their fame and fortune : for, as St. James 
saith, they are as men that look sometimes htto a glass, and 
presefUly forget their own shape and favour. As for business, 
a man may think, if he will, that two eyes see no more than 
one ; or that a gamester seeth always more than a looker- 
on ; or that a man in anger is as wise as he that hath said 
over the four and twenty letters ; or that a musket may 
be shot off as well upon the arm as upon a rest ; and such 
other fond and high imaginations, to think himself all in all. 
But when all is done, the help of good counsel is that which 10 
setteth business straight. And if any man think that he 
will take counsel, but it shall be by pieces, asking counsel 
in one business of one man, and in another business of 
another man, it is well (that is to say, better perhaps than 
if he asked none at all) ; but he runneth two dangers : one, 
that he shall not be faithfully counselled ; for it is a rare 
thing, except it be from a jierfect and entire friend, to have 
counsel given but such as shall be bowed and crooked to 
some ends which he hath that giveth it : the other, that he 
shall have counsel given hurtful and unsafe (though with 20 
good meaning), and mixed partlj' of mischief and partly 
of remedy ; even as if you would call a physician, that is 
thought good for the cure of the disease you complain of, 
but is unacquainted with your body ; and therefore may 
put you in a way for a present cure, but overthroweth your 
health in some other kind, and so cure the disease and kill 
the patient. But a friend that is wholly acquainted with 
a man's estate will beware, by furthering any present 
business, how he dasheth upon other inconvenience. And 
therefore rest not upon scattered counsels ; they will rather 30 
distract and mislead than settle and direct. 

After these two noble fruits of friendship (peace in the 
affections, and support of the judgement) followeth the 
last fruit, which is hke the pomegranate, fuU of many 
kernels ; I mean aid, and bearing a part, in all actions and 


occasions. Here the best way to represent to life the mani- 
fold use of friendship is to cast and see how many things 
there are which a man cannot do himself ; and then it will 
appear that it was a sparing speech of the ancients to say, 
that a friend is another himself : for that a friend is far more 
than himself. Men have their time, and die many times in 
desire of some things which they principally take to heart ; 
the bestowing of a child, the finishing of a work, or the like. 
If a man have a true friend, he may rest almost secure that 

lo the care of those things will continue after him ; so that 
a man hath, as it were, two lives in his desires. A man hath 
a body, and that body is confined to a place ; but where 
friendship is, all of&ces of life are as it were granted to him 
and his deputy ; for he may exercise them by his friend. 
How many things are there which a man cannot, with any 
face or comeliness, say or do himself ? A man can scarce 
allege his own merits with modesty, much less extol them : 
a man cannot sometimes brook to supplicate or beg : and 
a number of the like. But all these things are graceful in 

20 a friend's mouth, which are blushing in a man's own. So 
again, a man's person hath many proper relations which 
he cannot put off. A man cannot speak to his son but as 
a father ; to his wife but as a husband ; to his enemy but 
upon terms : whereas a friend may speak as the case re- 
quires, and not as it sorteth with the person. But to enumer- 
ate these things were endless : I have given the rule where 
a man cannot fitly play his own part : if he have not a friend, 
he may quit the stage. 

XXIX. Of the true Greatness of Kingdoms 
and Estates 

The speech of Themistocles the Athenian, which was 

30 haughty and arrogant in taking so much to himself, had 

been a grave and wise observation and censure, appUed 


at large to others. Desired at a feast to touch a lute, he 
said, He could not fiddle, hut yet he could make a small town 
a great city. These words (holpen a little with a metaphor) 
may express two different abilities in those that deal in 
business of estate. For if a true survey be taken of counsel- 
lors and statesmen, there may be found (though rarely) 
those which can make a small state great, and yet cannot 
fiddle : as, on the other side, there will be found a great 
many that can fiddle very cunningly, but yet are so far 
from being able to make a small state great, as their gift 10 
lieth the other way ; to bring a great and flourishing estate 
to ruin and decay. And certainly, those degenerate arts 
and shifts whereby many counsellors and governors gain 
both favour with their masters and estimation with the 
vulgar, deserve no better name than fiddling ; being things 
rather pleasing for the time, and graceful to themselves 
only, than tending to the weal and advancement of the 
state which they serve. There are also (no doubt) counsel- 
lors and governors which may be held sufficient (negotiis 
pares), able to manage affairs, and to keep them from 20 
precipices and manifest inconveniences ; which neverthe- 
less are far from the ability to raise and amplify an estate 
in power, means, and fortune. But be the workmen what 
they may be, let us speak of the work ; that is, the true 
greatness of kingdoms and estates, and the means thereof 
— an argument fit for great and mighty princes to have in 
their hand ; to the end that neither by over-measuring 
their forces they lose themselves in vain enterprises, nor, 
on the other side, by undervaluing them they descend to 
fearful and pusillanimous counsels. 30 

The greatness of an estate in bulk and territory doth fall 
under measure ; and the greatness of finances and revenue 
doth fall under computation. The population may appear 
by musters ; and the number and greatness of cities and 
towns by cards and maps. But yet there is not anything 


amongst civil affairs more subject to error than the right 
valuation and true judgement concerning the power and 
forces of an estate. The kingdom of heaven is compared, 
not to any great kernel or nut, but to a grain of mustard- 
seed ; which is one of the least grains, but hath in it a 
property and spirit hastily to get up and spread. So are 
there states great in territory, and yet not apt to enlarge 
or command ; and some that have but a small dimension 
of stem, and yet apt to be the foundations of great mon- 

lo archies. 

Walled towns, stored arsenals and armouries, goodly 
races of horse, chariots of war, elephants, ordnance, artil- 
lery, and the like : all this is but a sheep in a lion's skin, 
except the breed and disposition of the people be stout 
and warlike. Nay number itself in armies importeth not 
much where the people is of weak courage ; for (as Virgil 
saith) It never troubles a wolf how many the sheep he. The 
army of the Persians in the plains of Arbela was such a vast 
sea of people as it did somewhat astonish the commanders 

20 in Alexander's army, who came to him therefore and wished 
him to set upon them by night ; but he answered. He would 
not pilfer the victory ; and the defeat was easy. AVhen 
Tigranes the Armenian, being encamped upon a hill with 
four hundred thousand men, discovered the army of the 
Romans, being not above fourteen thousand, marching 
towards him, he made himself merry with it, and said. 
Yonder men are too many for an ambassage, and too few for 
a fight ; but before the sun set he found them enough to 
give him the chase with infinite slaughter. Many are the 

30 examples of the great odds between number and courage : 
so that a man may truly make a judgement that the princi- 
pal point of greatness in any state is to have a race of 
military men. Neither is money the sinews of war (as it 
is trivially said), where the sinews of men's arms in base 
and effeminate people are failing : for Solon said well to 


joesus (when in ostentation he showed him his gold). Sir, 
f any other come that hath better iron than you, he will be 
laster of all this gold. Therefore let any prince or state 
hink soberly of his forces, except his militia of natives be 
f good and valiant soldiers. And let princes, on the other 
ide, that have subjects of martial disposition, know their 
wn strength, unless they be otherwise wanting unto them- 
elves. As for mercenary forces (which is the help in this 
ase), all examples show that whatsoever estate or prince 
loth rest upon them, he may spread his feathers for a time, lo 
'ut he will mew them soon after. 

The blessing of Judah and Issachar will never meet ; 
hat the same people or nation should he both the lion's whelp 
md the ass between burdens : neither will it be that a people 
iverlaid with taxes should ever become valiant and martial. 
:t is true that taxes levied by consent of the estate, do 
ibate men's courage less ; as it hath been seen notably in 
he excises of the Low Countries ; and, in some degree, 
n the subsidies of England. For you must note that we 
peak now of the heart and not of the purse. So that 20 
Jthough the same tribute and tax laid by consent or by 
mposing be all one to the purse, yet it works diversely 
ipon the courage. So that you may conclude that no people 
wer charged with tribute is fit for empire. 

Let states that aim at greatness take heed how their 
lobility and gentlemen do multiply too fast ; for that 
naketh the common subject grow to be a peasant and base 
iwain, driven out of heart, and in effect but the gentleman's 
abourer. Even as you may see in coppice woods ; if you 
eave your staddles too thick, you shall never have clean under- 
vood, but shrubs and bushes. So in countries, if the gentle- 30 
nen be too many, the commons will be base ; and you will 
jring it to that, that not the hundred poll will be fit for an 
lelmet : especially as to the infantry, which is the nerve 
)f an army : and so there will be great population and little 

2179-16 G 


strength. This which I speak of hath been nowhere better 
seen than by comparing of England and France ; whereof 
England, though far less in territory and population, hath 
been (nevertheless) an overmatch ; in regard, the middle 
people of England make good soldiers, which the peasants 
of France do not. And herein the device of King Henry 
the Seventh (whereof I have spoken largely in the History 
of his Life) was profound and admirable, in making farms 
and houses of husbandry of a standard, that is, main- 
lo tained with such a proportion of land unto them as may 
breed a subject to live in convenient plenty, and no servile 
condition ; and to keep the plough in the hands of the 
owners, and not mere hirelings. And thus indeed you shall 
attain to Virgil's character, which he gives to ancient 

Terra potens armis atque ubere glebae. 

Neither is that state (which, for anything I know, is 
almost peculiar to England, and hardly to be found any- 
where else, except it be perhaps in Poland) to be passed 

20 over ; I mean the state of free servants and attendants 
upon noblemen and gentlemen, which are no ways inferior 
unto the yeomanry for arms. And therefore, out of all 
question, the splendour and magnificence and great retinues 
and hospitality of noblemen and gentlemen received into 
custom doth much conduce unto martial greatness ; where- 
as, contrariwise, the close and reserved living of noblemen 
and gentlemen causeth a penury of military forces. 

By all means it is to be procured that the trunk of Nebu- 
chadnezzar's tree of monarchy be great enough to bear 

30 the branches and the boughs ; that is, that the natural 
subjects of the crown or state bear a sufficient proportion 
to the stranger subjects that they govern. Therefore all 
states that are liberal of naturalization towards strangers 
are fit for empire. For to think that a handful of people 


can, with the greatest courage and pohcy in the world, 
embrace too large extent of dominion, it may hold for a 
time but it will fail suddenly. The Spartans were a nice 
people in point of naturalization ; whereby, while they 
kept their compass, they stood firm ; but when they 
did spread, and their boughs were becommen too great 
for their stem, they became a windfall upon the sudden. 
Never any state was in this point so open to receive stran- 
gers into their body as were the Romans. Therefore it sorted 
with them accordingly, for they grew to the greatest mon- 10 
archy. Their manner was to grant naturalization (which 
they called^MS civitatis), and to grant it in the highest degree, 
that is, not only jus commercii, jus connuhii, jus haereditatis, 
but also, jus suffragii, and jus honorum ; and this not to 
singular persons alone, but hkewise to whole families ; yea 
to cities, and sometimes to nations. Add to this their custom 
of plantation of colonies, whereby the Roman plant was 
removed into the soil of other nations. And putting both 
constitutions together, you will say that it was not the 
Romans that spread upon the world, but it was the world 20 
that spread upon the Romans ; and that was the sure way 
of greatness. I have marvelled sometimes at Spain, how 
they clasp and contain so large dominions with so few 
natural Spaniards ; but sure the whole compass of Spain 
is a very great body of a tree, far above Rome and Sparta 
at the first. And besides, though they have not had that 
usage to naturalize liberally, yet they have that which is 
next to it ; that is, to employ almost indifferently all nations 
in their militia of ordinary soldiers ; yea, and sometimes 
in their highest commands. Nay, it seemeth at this instant 30 
they are sensible of this want of natives ; as by the Prag- 
matical Sanction, now published, appeareth. 

It is certain that sedentary and within-door arts and 
delicate manufactures (that require rather the finger than 
the arm) have in their nature a contrariety to a military 
G 2 

«4 libbAYb 

disposition. And generally all warlike people are a little 
idle, and love danger better than travail ; neither must 
they be too much broken of it if they shall be preserved in 
vigour. Therefore it was great advantage in the ancient 
states of Sparta, Athens, Rome, and others, that they had 
the use of slaves, which commonly did rid those manufac- 
tures. But that is abolished, in greatest part, by the Christian 
law. That which cometh nearest to it is to leave those arts 
chiefly to strangers (which for that purpose are the more 

lo easily to be received), and to contain the principal bulk of 
the vulgar natives within those three kinds, tillers of the 
ground, free servants, and handicraftsmen of strong and 
manly arts, as smiths, masons, carpenters, &c., not reckon- 
ing professed soldiers. 

But above all, for empire and greatness, it importeth 
most that a nation do profess arms as their principal honour, 
study, and occupation. For the things which we formerly 
have spoken of are but habilitations towards arms ; and 
what is habilitation without intention and act ? Romulus, 

20 after his death (as they report or feign), sent a present to 
the Romans, that above all they should intend arms, and 
then they should prove the greatest empire of the world. 
The fabric of the state of Sparta was wholly (though not 
wisely) framed and composed to that scope and end. The 
Persians and Macedonians had it for a flash. The Gauls, 
Germans, Goths, Saxons, Normans, and others, had it for 
a time. The Turks have it at this day, though in great 
declination. Of Christian Europe, they that have it are 
in effect only the Spaniards. But it is so plain that every 

30 man profiteth in that he most intendeth, that it needeth not 
to be stood upon. It is enough to point at it ; that no 
nation which doth not directly profess arms may look to 
have greatness fall into their mouths. And on the other 
side, it is a most certain oracle of time, that those states 
that continue long in that profession (as the Romans and 


Turks principally have done) do wonders. And those that 
have professed arms but for an age have, notwithstanding, 
commonly attained that greatness in that age which main- 
tained them long after, when their profession and exercise 
of arms had grown to decay. 

Incident to this point is for a state to have those laws 
or customs which may reach forth unto them just occasions 
(as may be pretended) of war. For there is that justice 
imprinted in the nature of men, that they enter not upon 
wars (whereof so many calamities do ensue), but upon 10 
some at the least specious grounds and quarrels. The Turk 
hath at hand, for cause of war, the propagation of his law 
or sect, a quarrel that he may always command. The 
Romans, though they esteemed the extending the limits 
of their empire to be great honour to their generals when 
it was done, yet they never rested upon that alone to begin 
a war. First therefore let nations that pretend to greatness 
have this, that they be sensible of wrongs, either upon 
borderers, merchants, or politic ministers ; and that they 
sit not too long upon a provocation. Secondly, let them 20 
be prest and ready to give aids and succours to their con- 
federates : as it ever was with the Romans ; insomuch as 
if the confederate had leagues defensive with divers other 
states, and upon invasion offered did implore their aids 
severally, yet the Romans would ever be the foremost, 
and leave it to none other to have the honour. As for the 
wars which were anciently made on the behalf of a kind 
of party or tacit conformity of estate, I do not see how 
they may be well justified : as when the Romans made 
a war for the liberty of Graecia : or when the Lacedae- 30 
monians and Athenians made wars to set up or pull down 
democracies and ohgarchies : or when wars were made by 
foreigners, under the pretence of justice or protection, to 
deliver the subjects of others from tyranny and oppression ; 
and the like. Let it suffice, that no estate expect to be 


great that is not awake upon any just occasion of 

No body can be healthful without exercise, neither 
natural body nor politic ; and certainly to a kingdom or 
estate a just and honourable war is the true exercise. A 
civil war, indeed, is like the heat of a fever ; but a foreign 
war is like the heat of exercise, and serveth to keep the 
body in health ; for in a slothful peace both courages will 
effeminate and manners corrupt. But howsoever it be for 

lo happiness, without all question for greatness it maketh to 
be still for the most part in arms ; and the strength of 
a veteran army (though it be a chargeable business), always 
on foot, is that which commonly giveth the law, or at 
least the reputation amongst all neighbour states ; as may 
well be seen in Spain, which hath had, in one part or other, 
a veteran army almost continually now by the space of 
six-score years. 

To be master of the sea is an abridgement of a monarchy. 
Cicero, writing to Atticus of Pompey his preparation 

2° against Caesar, saith. Consilium Pompeii plane Themi- 
sfocleum est ; putat enim qui mari potitur eum rerum potiri. 
And without doubt Pompey had tired out Caesar if upon 
vain confidence he had not left that way. We see the great 
effects of battles by sea. The battle of Actium decided the 
empire of the world. The battle of Lepanto arrested the 
greatness of the Turk. There be many examples where 
sea-fights have been final to the war; but this is when 
princes or states have set up their rest upon the battles. 
But thus much is certain ; that he that commands the sea 

30 is at great liberty, and may take as much and as little of 
the war as he will ; whereas those that be strongest by land 
are many times nevertheless in great straits. Surely at this 
day with us of Europe the vantage of strength at sea (which 
is one of the principal dowries of this kingdom of Great 
Britain) is great ; both because most of the kingdoms of 


Europe are not merely inland, but girt with the sea most 
part of their compass ; and because the wealth of both 
Indies seems in great part but an accessary to the command 
of the seas. 

The wars of latter ages seem to be made in the dark, in 
respect of the glory and honour which reflected upon men 
from the wars in ancient time. There be now, for martial 
encouragement, some degrees and orders of chivalry, which 
nevertheless are conferred promiscuously upon soldiers 
and no soldiers ; and some remembrance perhaps upon the 10 
scutcheon ; and some hospitals for maimed soldiers ; and 
such like things. But in ancient times, the trophies erected 
upon the place of the victory ; the funeral laudatives and 
monuments for those that died in the wars ; the crowns 
and garlands personal ; the style of emperor, which the 
great kings of the world after borrowed ; the triumphs 
of the generals upon their return ; the great donatives and 
largesses upon the disbanding of the armies ; were things 
able to inflame all men's courages. But above all, that 
of the triumph amongst the Romans was not pageants or 20 
gaudery, but one of the wisest and noblest institutions that 
ever was. For it contained three things ; honour to the 
general, riches to the treasury out of the spoils, and dona- 
tives to the army. But that honour perhaps were not fit 
for monarchies, except it be in the person of the monarch 
himself or his sons ; as it came to pass in the times of the 
Roman emperors, who did impropriate the actual triumphs 
to themselves and their sons for such wars as they did 
achieve in person, and left only for wars achieved by sub- 
jects some triumphal garments and ensigns to the general. 30 

To conclude : no man can by care taking (as the Scrip- 
ture saith) add a cubit to his stature in this little model 
of a man's body ; but in the great frame of kingdoms and 
commonwealths it is in the power of princes or estates to 
add amplitude and greatness to their kingdoms. For by 


introducing such ordinances, constitutions, and customs, 
as we have now touched, they may sow greatness to their 
posterity and succession. But these things are commonly 
not observed, but left to take their chance. 

XXXII. Of Discourse 

Some in their discourse desire rather commendation of 
wit, in being able to hold all arguments, than of judgement, 
in discerning what is true ; as if it were a praise to know 
what might be said, and not what should be thought. Some 
have certain common-places and themes wherein they are 

lo good, and want variety ; which kind of poverty is for the 
most part tedious, and when it is once perceived ridiculous. 
The honourablest part of talk is to give the occasion ; and 
again to moderate and pass to somewhat else ; for then a 
man leads the dance. It is good in discourse and speech 
of conversation to vary and intermingle speech of the 
present occasion with arguments, tales with reasons, asking 
of questions with telling of opinions, and, jest with earnest ; 
for it is a dull thing to tire, and, as we say now, to jade 
anything too far. As for jest, there be certain things which 

-o ought to be privileged from it ; namely religion, matters 
of state, great persons, any man's present business of 
importance, and any case that deserve th pity. Yet there 
be some that think their wits have been asleep, except they 
dart out somewhat that is piquant and to the quick ; that 
is a vein which would be bridled ; 

Puree puer stimulis, et fortius utere loris. 
And generally, men ought to find the difference between 
saltness and bitterness. Certainly, he that hath a satirical 
vein, as he maketh others afraid of his wit, so he had need 
30 be afraid of others' memory. He that questioneth much 
shall learn much, and content much ; but especially if he 
apply his questions to the skill of the persons whom he 


asketh ; for he shall give them occasion to please them- 
selves in speaking and himself shall continually gather 
knowledge. But let his questions not be troublesome, for 
that is fit for a poser. And let him be sure to leave other 
men their turns to speak. Nay, if there be any that would 
reign and take up all the time, let him find means to take 
them off, and to bring others on ; as musicians use to do 
with those that dance too long galliards. If you dissemble 
sometimes your knowledge of that you are thought to 
know, you shall be thought another time to know that you 10 
know not. Speech of a man's self ought to be seldom, and 
well chosen. I knew one was wont to say in scorn, He 
must needs he a wise man, he speaks so much of himself : 
and there is but one case wherein a man may commend 
himself with good grace, and that is in commending virtue 
in another, especially if it be such a virtue whereunto him- 
self pretendeth. Speech of touch towards others should 
be sparingly used ; for discourse ought to be as a field, 
without coming home to any man. I knew two noblemen 
of the west part of England, whereof the one was given to 20 
scoff, but kept ever royal cheer in his house ; the other 
would ask of those that had been at the other's table. Tell 
truly, was there never a flout or dry blow given ? To which 
the guest would answer. Such and such a thing passed. The 
lord would say / thought he would mar a good dinner. Dis- 
cretion of speech is more than eloquence ; and to speak 
agreeably to him with whom we deal is more than to speak 
in good words or in good order. A good continued speech, 
without a good speech of interlocution, shows slowness ; 
and a good reply or second speech, without a good settled 3° 
speech, showeth shallowness and weakness. As we see in 
beasts, that those that are weakest in the course are yet 
nimblest in the turn ; as it is betwixt the greyhound and 
the hare. To use too many circumstances ere one come to 
the matter is wearisome ; to use none at all is blunt. 


XXXVI. Of Ambition 

Ambition is like choler, which is an humour that maketh 
men active, earnest, full of alacrity, and stirring, if it be not 
stopped : but if it be stopped and cannot have his way, it 
becometh adust, and thereby malign and venomous. So 
ambitious men, if they find the way open for their rising 
and still get forward, they are rather busy than dangerous ; 
but if they be checked in their desires, they become secretly 
discontent, and look upon men and matters with an evil 
eye, and are best pleased when things go backward ; which 

lo is the worst property in a servant of a prince or state. 
Therefore it is good for princes, if they use ambitious men, 
to handle it so as they be still progressive and not retro- 
grade ; which because it cannot be without inconvenience, 
it is good not to use such natures at all ; for if they rise 
not with their service, they will take order to make their 
service fall with them. But since we have said it were good 
not to use men of ambitious natures, except it be upon 
necessity, it is fit we speak in what cases they are of neces- 
sity. Good commanders in the wars must be taken, be 

20 they never so ambitious, for the use of their service dis- 
penseth with the rest ; and to take a soldier without am- 
bition is to pull off his spurs. There is also great use of 
ambitious men in being screens to princes in matters of 
danger and envy ; for no man will take that part except 
he be like a seeled dove, that mounts and mounts because 
he cannot see about him. There is use also of ambitious 
men in pulling down the greatness of any subject that over- 
tops ; as Tiberius used Macro in the pulling down of Sejanus. 
Since therefore they must be used in such cases, there 

30 resteth to speak how they are to be bridled that they may 
be less dangerous. There is less danger of them if they 
be of mean birth than if they be noble ; and if they be 
rather harsh of nature than gracious and popular ; and 


if they be rather new raised than grown cunning and forti- 
fied in their greatness. It is counted by some a weakness 
in princes to have favourites ; but it is, of all others, the 
best remedy against ambitious great ones. For when the 
way of pleasuring and displeasuring lieth by the favourite, 
it is impossible any other should be over-great. Another 
means to curb them is to balance them by others as proud 
as they. But then there must be some middle counsellors 
to keep things steady ; for without that ballast the ship 
will roll too much. At the least, a prince may animate 10 
and inure some meaner persons to be as it were scourges 
to ambitious men. As for the having of them obnoxious 
to ruin, if they be of fearful natures, it may do well ; but 
if they be stout and daring, it may precipitate their designs 
and prove dangerous. As for the pulhng of them down, 
if the affairs require it, and that it may not be done with 
safety suddenly, the only way is the interchange continually 
of favours and disgraces, whereby they may not know what 
to expect, and be as it were in a wood. Of ambitions, it is 
less harmful the ambition to prevail in great things, than 20 
that other to appear in everything ; for that breeds con- 
fusion and mars business. But yet it is less danger to have 
an ambitious man stirring in business than great in depen- 
dances. He that seeketh to be eminent amongst able men 
hath a great task ; but that is ever good for the public. 
But he that plots to be the only figure amongst ciphers is 
the decay of an whole age. Honour hath three things in 
it : the vantage ground to do good ; the approach to kings 
and principal persons ; and the raising of a man's own 
fortunes. He that hath the best of these intentions when 30 
he aspireth is an honest man ; and that prince that can 
discern of these intentions in another that aspireth is a wise 
prince. Generally, let princes and states choose such minis- 
ters as are more sensible of duty than of rising, and such as 
love business rather upon conscience than upon bravery ; 
and let them discern a busy nature from a willing mind. 



XXXIX. Of Custom and Education 

Men's thoughts are much according to their inclination : 
their discourse and speeches according to their learning 
and infused opinions ; but their deeds are after as they 
have been accustomed. And therefore, as Macciavel well 
noteth (though in an evil-favoured instance), there is no 
trusting to the force of nature nor to the bravery of words, 
except it be corroborate by custom. His instance is, that 
for the achieving of a desperate conspiracy a man should 
not rest upon the fierceness of any man's nature or his 

lo resolute undertakings, but take such an one as hath had his 
hands formerly in blood. But Macciavel knew not of a 
Friar Clement, nor a Ravillac, nor a Jaureguy, nor a Balta- 
zar Gerard ; yet his rule holdeth still, that nature nor the 
engagement of words are not so forcible as custom. Only 
superstition is now so well advanced that men of the first 
blood are as firm as butchers by occupation ; and votary 
resolution is made equipollent to custom even in matter of 
blood. In other things, the predominancy of custom is 
everywhere visible ; insomuch as a man would wonder to 

20 hear men profess, protest, engage, give great words, and 
then do just as they have done before, as if they were dead 
images, and engines moved only by the wheels of custom. 
We see also the reign or tyranny of custom, what it is. 
The Indians (I mean the sect of their wise men) lay them- 
selves quietly upon a stack of wood, and so sacrifice them- 
selves by fire. Nay the wives strive to be burned with the 
corpses of their husbands. The lads of Sparta of ancient 
time were wont to be scourged upon the altar of Diana, 
without so much as queching. I remember, in the beginning 

30 of Queen Elizabeth's time of England, an Irish rebel con- 
demned put up a petition to the deputy that he might be 
hanged in a withe, and not in an halter, because it had been 
so used with former rebels. There be monks in Russia, for 


penance, that will sit a whole night in a vessel of water, till 
they be engaged with hard ice. Many examples may be 
put of the force of custom both upon mind and body. 
Therefore, since custom is the principal magistrate of man's 
life, let men by all means endeavour to obtain good customs. 
Certainly, custom is most perfect when it beginneth in 
young years : this we call education, which is in effect but 
an early custom. So we see, in languages the tongue is more 
pliant to all expressions and sounds, the joints are more 
supple to all feats of activity and motions in youth than 10 
afterwards. For it is true that late learners cannot so well 
take the ply, except it be in some minds that have not 
suffered themselves to fix, but have kept themselves open 
and prepared to receive continual amendment, which is 
exceeding rare. But if the force of custom simple and 
separate be great, the force of custom copulate and con- 
joined and coUegiate is far greater. For there example 
teacheth, company comforteth, emulation quickeneth, 
glory raiseth ; so as in such places the force of custom is 
in his exaltation. Certainly, the great multiplication of 20 
virtues upon human nature resteth upon societies well 
ordained and disciplined. For commonwealths and good 
governments do nourish virtue grown, but do not much 
mend the seeds. But the misery is that the most effectual 
means are now applied to the ends least to be desired. 

XLII. Of Youth and Age 

A MAN that is young in years may be old in hours, if he 
have lost no time. But that happeneth rarely. Generally, 
youth is like the first cogitations, not so wise as the second. 
For there is a youth in thoughts as well as in ages. And 
yet the invention of young men is more Uvely than that of 3° 
old, and imaginations stream into their minds better, and 
as it were more divinely. Natures that have much heat, 


and great and violent desires and perturbations, are not 
ripe for action till they have passed the meridian of their 
years : as it was with Julius Caesar and Septimius Severus ; 
of the latter of whom it is said, Juventutem egit erroribus, 
imo furoribus, plenum ; and yet he was the ablest emperor, 
almost, of all the list. But reposed natures may do well in 
youth : as it is seen in Augustus Caesar, Cosmus duke of 
Florence, Gaston de Foix, and others. On the other side, 
heat and vivacity in age is an excellent composition for 
lo business. Young men are fitter to invent than to judge, 
fitter for execution than for counsel, and fitter for new 
projects than for settled business; for the experience of 
age, in things that fall within the compass of it, directeth 
them ; but in new things abuseth them. The errors of 
young men are the ruin of business ; but the errors of aged 
men amount but to this, that more might have been done 
or sooner. 

Young men, in the conduct and manage of actions, 
embrace more than they can hold ; stir more than they 
20 can quiet ; fly to the end without consideration of the 
means and degrees ; pursue some few principles which they 
have chanced upon absurdly ; care not to innovate, which 
draws unknown inconveniences ; use extreme remedies 
at first ; and, that which doubleth all errors, will not 
acknowledge or retract them, like an unready horse, that 
will neither stop nor turn. Men of age object too much, 
consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon, and 
seldom drive business home to the full period, but content 
themselves with a mediocrity of success. Certainly it is 
30 good to compound employments of both ; for that will be 
good for the present, because the virtues of either age may 
correct the defects of both : and good for succession, that 
young men may be learners while men in age are actors : 
and lastly, good for exteme accidents, because authority 
followeth old men, and favour and popularity youth. But 


for the moral part, perhaps youth will have the pre-emin- 
ence, as age hath for the politic. A certain rabbin, upon 
the text, Your young men shall see visions, and your old men 
shall dream dreams, inferreth that young men are admitted 
nearer to God than old, because vision is a clearer revelation 
than a dream. And certainly, the more a man drinketh 
of the world the more it intoxicateth : and age doth profit 
rather in the powers of understanding than in the virtues 
of the will and affections. There be some have an over- 
early ripeness in their years, which fadeth betimes : these 10 
are, first, such as have brittle wits, the edge whereof is soon 
turned ; such as was Hermogenes the rhetorician, whose 
books are exceeding subtile, who afterwards waxed stupid. 
A second sort is of those that have some natural dispositions 
which have better grace in youth than in age ; such as is a 
fluent and luxuriant speech, which becomes youth well but 
not age : so TuUy saith of Hortensius, Idem manebat, neque 
idem decebat. The third is of such as take too high a strain 
at the first, and are magnanimous more than tract of years 
can uphold ; as was Scipio Af ricanus, of whom Livy saith 20 
in effect Ultima primis cedebant. 

XL VI. Of Gardens 

God Almighty first planted a garden. And, indeed, it is 
the purest of human pleasures. It is the greatest refresh- 
ment to the spirits of man ; without which buildings and 
palaces are but gross handy-works : and a man shall ever 
see that, when ages grow to civility and elegancy, men 
come to build stately sooner than to garden finely ; as if 
gardening were the greater perfection. I do hold it, in the 
royal ordering of gardens, there ought to be gardens for all 
the months in the year, in which severally things of beauty 3° 
may be then in season. For December and January and 
the latter part of November, you must take such things as 


are green all winter: holly, ivy, bays, juniper, cypress-trees, 
yew, pineapple-trees, fir-trees, rosemary, lavender, peri- 
winkle — the white the purple and the blue, germander, flags, 
orange-trees, lemon-trees, and myrtles, if they be stoved ; and 
sweet marjoram, warm set. There followeth, for the latter 
part of January and February, the mezereon-tree, which 
then blossoms; crocus vernus, both the yellow and the 
grey ; primroses, anemones, the early tulippa, hyacinthus 
orientalis, chamairis, fritillaria. For March, there come 

lo violets, specially the single blue which are the earliest, 
the yellow daffodil, the daisy, the almond-tree in blossom, 
the peach-tree in blossom, the cornelian-tree in blossom, 
sweet-briar. In April follow the double white violet, the 
wall flower, the stock-gilliflower, the cowslip, flower-de- 
luces and lilies of all natures, rosemary-flowers, the 
tulippa, the double peony, the pale daffodil, the French 
honeysuckle, the cherry-tree in blossom, the damson 
and plum-trees in blossom, the white-thorn in leaf, the 
lilac-tree. In May and June come pinks of all sorts, specially 

20 the blush-pink, roses of all kinds, except the musk which 
comes later, honeysuckles, strawberries, bugloss, columbine, 
the French marygold, flos Africanus, cherry-tree in fruit, 
ribes, figs in fruit, raspes, vine-flowers, lavender in flowers, 
the sweet satyrian with the white flower, herba muscaria, 
lilium convallium, the apple-tree in blossom. In July 
come gilliflowers of all varieties, musk-roses, the lime-tree 
in blossom, early pears and plums in fruit, ginnitings, 
codlins. In August come plums of all sorts in fruit, pears, 
apricocks, barberries, filberts, musk-melons, monks-hoods 

30 of all colours. In September come grapes, apples, poppies 
of all colours, peaches, melocotones, nectarines, comehans, 
wardens, quinces. In October and the beginning of 
November come services, medlars, buUaces, roses cut or 
removed to come late, hollyhocks, and such like. These 
particulars are for the climate of London ; but my meaning 


is perceived, that you may have ver perpeiuum as the place 

And because the breath of flowers is far sweeter in the 
air (where it comes and goes Hke the warbhng of music), 
than in the hand, therefore nothing is more fit for that 
dehght than to know what be the flowers and plants that 
do best perfume the air. Roses, damask and red, are fast 
flowers of their smells ; so that you may walk by a whole 
row of them, and find nothing of their sweetness ; yea 
though it be in a morning's dew. Bays likewise yield no 10 
smell as they grow, rosemary little, nor sweet marjoram. 
That which above all others jdelds the sweetest smell in the 
air is the violet, specially the white double violet, which 
comes twice a year, about the middle of April and about 
Bartholomew-tide. Next to that is the musk-rose ; then 
the strawberry-leaves dying, which [peld] a most excellent 
cordial smell ; then the flower of the vines, — it is a little 
dust, like the dust of a bent, which grows upon the cluster 
in the first coming forth ; then sweet-briar ; then wall- 
flowers, which are very delightful to be set under a parlour 20 
or lower chamber window ; then pinks and gilliflowers, 
specially the matted pink and clove gilliflower ; then the 
flowers of the lime-tree ; then the honeysuckles, so they be 
somewhat afar off. Of bean-flowers I speak not, because 
they are field-flowers. But those which perfume the air 
most dehghtfuUy, not passed by as the rest, but being 
trodden upon and crushed, are three : that is, bumet, wild 
thyme, and water mints. Therefore you are to set whole 
alleys of them, to have the pleasure when you walk or 
tread. 30 

For gardens (speaking of those which are indeed prince- 
like, as we have done of buildings), the contents ought not 
well to be under thirty acres of ground ; and to be divided 
into three parts : a green in the entrance, a heath or desert 
in the going forth, and the main garden in the midst, 

2179-16 H 


besides alleys on both sides. And I like well that four acres 
of ground be assigned to the green, six to the heath, four 
and four to either side, and twelve to the main garden. 
The green hath two pleasures : the one, because nothing 
is more pleasant to the eye than green grass kept finely 
shorn ; the other, because it will give you a fair alley in the 
midst, by which you may go in front upon a stately hedge, 
which is to enclose the garden. But because the alley will 
be long, and in great heat of the year or day you ought not 

lo to buy the shade in the garden by going in the sun through 
the green, therefore you are, of either side the green, to 
plant a covert alley, upon carpenter's work, about twelve 
footin height, by which you may go in shade into the garden. 
As for the making of knots or figures with divers coloured 
earths, that they may lie under the windows of the house 
on that side which the garden stands, they be but toys ; 
you may see as good sights many times in tarts. The 
garden is best to he square, encompassed on all the four 
sides with a stately arched hedge ; the arches to be upon 

20 pillars of carpenter's work, of some ten foot high and six foot 
broad, and the spaces between of the same dimension with 
the breadth of the arch. Over the arches let there be an 
entire hedge of some four foot high, framed also upon 
carpenter's work ; and upon the upper hedge, over every 
arch, a little turret with a belly enough to receive a cage 
of birds : and over every space, between the arches, some 
other little figure, with broad plates of round coloured glass, 
gilt, for the sun to play upon. But this edge I intend to be 
raised upon a bank, not steep but gently slope, of some six 

30 foot, set all with flowers. Also I understand, that this 
square of the garden should not be the whole breadth of 
the ground, but to leave on either side ground enough for 
diversity of side alleys, unto which the two covert alleys 
of the green may deliver you. But there must be no alleys 
with hedges at either end of this great enclosure ; not at 


the hither end, for letting your prospect upon this fair 
hedge from the green ; nor at the further end, for letting 
your prospect from the hedge through the arches upon the 

For the ordering of the ground within the great hedge, 
I leave it to variety of device ; advising nevertheless that 
whatsoever form you cast it into, first it be not too busy, 
or full of work. Wherein I, for my part, do not like images 
cut out in juniper or other garden stuff ; they be for children. 
Little low hedges, round, like welts, with some pretty pyra- 10 
mids, I hke well ; and in some places fair columns upon 
frames of carpenter's work. I would also have the alleys 
spacious and fair. You may have closer alleys upon the 
side grounds, but none in the main garden. I wish also, in 
the very middle, a fair mount, with three ascents, and alleys, 
enough for four to walk abreast ; which I would have to 
be perfect circles, without any bulwarks or embossments ; 
and the whole mount to be thirty foot high ; and some fine 
banqueting-house, with some chimneys neatly cast, and 
without too much glass. 20 

For fountains, they are a great beauty and refreshment ; 
but pools mar all, and make the garden unwholesome and 
full of flies and frogs. Fountains I intend to be of two 
natures ; the one that sprinkleth or spouteth water : the 
other a fair receipt of water, of some thirty or forty foot 
square, but without fish, or slime, or mud. For the first, 
the ornaments of images gilt or of marble, which are in use, 
do well : but the main matter is so to convey the water 
as it never stay, either in the bowls or in the cistern ; 
that the water be never by rest discoloured, green, or red, 3<^ 
or the like, or gather any mossiness or putrefaction. Besides 
that, it is to be cleansed every day by the hand. Also some 
steps up to it, and some fine pavement about it, doth well. 
As for the other kind of fountain, which we may call a 
bathing-pool, it may admit much curiosity and beauty, 

H 2 


wherewith we will not trouble ourselves : as that the bottom 
be finely paved, and with images ; the sides Ukewise ; and 
withal embellished with coloured glass and such things of 
lustre ; encompassed also with fine rails of low statuas. 
But the main point is the same which we mentioned in the 
former kind of fountain ; which is, that the water be in 
perpetual motion, fed by a water higher than the pool, and 
delivered into it by fair spouts, and then discharged away 
under ground, by some equahty of bores, that it stay little. 

lo And for fine devices, of arching water without spilling, and 
making it rise in several forms (of feathers, drinking-glasses, 
canopies, and the like), they be pretty things to look on, but 
nothing to health and sweetness. 

For the heath, which was the third part of our plot, I 
wish it to be framed as much as may be to a natural wild- 
ness. Trees I would have none in it, but some thickets 
made only of sweet-briar and honeysuckle, and some wild 
vine amongst ; and the ground set with violets, straw- 
berries, and primroses ; for these are sweet, and prosper 

20 in the shade ; and these to be in the heath, here and there, 
not in any order. I like also little heaps, in the nature of 
mole-hills (such as are in wild heaths), to be set, some with 
wild th3mie, some with pinks, some with germander that 
gives a good flower to the eye, some with periwinkle, some 
with violets, some with strawberries, some with cowslips, 
some with daisies, some with red roses, some with lilium 
convallium, some with sweet-williams red, some with 
bear's-foot, and the like low flowers, being withal sweet 
and sightly : part of which heaps to be with standards 

30 of little bushes prickt upon their top, and part without : 
the standards to be roses, juniper, holly, barberries (but 
here and there, because of the smell of their blossom), red 
currants, gooseberries, rosemary, bays, sweet-briar, and 
such like : but these standards to be kept with cutting, 
that they grow not out of course. 


For the side grounds, you are to fill them with variety 
of alleys, private, to give a full shade ; some of them, where- 
soever the sun be. You are to frame some of them likewise 
for shelter, that when the wind blows sharp you may walk 
as in a gallery. And those alleys must be likewise hedged 
at both ends, to keep out the wind ; and these closer alleys 
must be ever finely gravelled, and no grass, because of 
going wet. In many of these alleys likewise you are to set 
fruit-trees of all sorts, as well upon the walls as in ranges. 
And this should be generally observed, that the borders lo 
wherein you plant your fruit-trees be fair and large and 
low and not steep ; and set with fine flowers, but thin and 
sparingly, lest they deceive the trees. At the end of both 
the side grounds I would have a mount of some pretty 
height, leaving the wall of the enclosure breast-high, to 
look abroad into the fields. 

For the main garden, I do not deny but there should be 
some fair alleys, ranged on both sides, with fruit-trees ; and 
some pretty tufts of fruit-trees, and arbours with seats, set 
in some decent order ; but these to be by no means set too 20 
thick, but to leave the main garden so as it be not close but 
the air open and free. For as for shade, I would have you 
rest upon the alleys of the side grounds, there to walk, if you 
be disposed, in the heat of the year or day ; but to make 
accoimt that the main garden is for the more temperate 
parts of the year, and in the heat of summer for the morning 
and the evening or overcast days. 

For aviaries, I like them not, except they be of that 
largeness as they may be turfed and have living plants and 
bushes set in them ; that the birds may have more scope 30 
and natural nestling, and that no foulness appear in the 
floor of the aviary. So I have made a platform of a princely 
garden, partly by precept, partly by drawing, not a model, 
but some general lines of it ; and in this I have spared for 
no cost. But it is nothing for great princes, that for the 


most part, taking advice with workmen, with no less cost, 
set their things together ; and sometimes add statuas and 
such things for state and magnificence, but nothing to the 
true pleasure of a garden. 

XLVII. Of Negotiating 

It is generally better to deal by speech than by letter ; 
and by the mediation of a third than by a man's self. 
Letters are good when a man would draw an answer by 
letter back again ; or when it may serve for a man's justi- 
fication, afterwards to produce his own letter ; or where 

lo it may be danger to be interrupted or heard by pieces. To 
deal in person is good when a man's face breedeth regard, 
as commonly with inferiors ; or in tender cases, where a 
man's eye upon the countenance of him with whom he 
speaketh may give him a direction how far to go : and 
generally, where a man will reserve to himself liberty either 
to disavow or to expound. In choice of instruments, it is 
better to choose men of a plainer sort, that are like to do 
that, that is committed to them, and to report back again 
faithfully the success, than those that are cunning to contrive 

20 out of other men's business somewhat to grace themselves, 
and will help the matter in report, for satisfaction sake. 
Use also such persons as affect the business wherein they 
are employed, for that quickeneth much ; and such as are 
fit for the matter, as bold men for expostulation, fair-spoken 
men for persuasion, crafty men for inquiry and observa- 
tion, froward and absurd men for business that doth not 
well bear out itself. Use also such as have been lucky and 
prevailed before in things wherein you have employed 
them ; for that breeds confidence, and they will strive 

30 to maintain their prescription. It is better to sound a 
person with whom one deals afar off than to fall upon the 


point at first; except you mean to surprise him by some 
short question. It is better dealing with men in appetite 
than with those that are where they would be. If a man 
deal with another upon conditions, the start or first perfor- 
mance is all ; which a man cannot reasonably demand, 
except either the nature of the thing be such which must 
go before ; or else a man can persuade the other party that 
he shall still need him in some other thing ; or else that 
he be counted the honester man. All practice is to discover 
or to work. Men discover themselves in trust, in passion, 10 
at unawares, and of necessity, when they would have some- 
what done and cannot find an apt pretext. If you would 
work any man, you must either know his nature, and 
fashions, and so lead him ; or his ends, and so persuade 
him ; or his weakness, and disadvantages, and so awe him ; 
or those that have interest in him, and so govern him. In 
dealing with cunning persons, we must ever consider their 
ends, to interpret their speeches ; and it is good to say little 
to them, and that which they least look for. In all negotia- 
tions of difficulty, a man may not look to sow and reap at 20 
once ; but must prepare business, and so ripen it by degrees. 

L. Of Studies 

Studies serve for dehght, for ornament, and for ability. 
Their chief use for delight is in privateness and retiring ; 
for ornament is in discourse ; and for ability is in the 
judgement and disposition of business. For expert men can 
execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one ; but 
the general counsels, and the plots and marshalling of 
affairs, come best from those that are learned. To spend 
too much time in studies is sloth ; to use them too much for y 
ornament is affectation ; to make judgement wholly byVjo 
their rules is the humour of a scholar. They perfect nature. 



/ and are perfected by experience : for natural abilities are 
like natural plants, that need pruning by study ; and 
studies themselves do give forth directions too much at 
large, except they be bounded in by experience. Crafty 
men contemn studies ; simple men admire them ; and wise 
men use them : for they teach not their own use ; but that 
is a wisdom without them and above them, won by observa- 
tion. Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe 
and take for granted ; nor to find talk and discourse ; but 

lo to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others 
to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested : 
that is, some books are to be read only in parts ; others to 
be read but not curiously ; and some few to be read wholly, 
and with dihgence and attention. Some books also may 
be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others : 
but that would be only in the less important arguments 
and the meaner sort of books ; else distilled books are like 
common distilled waters, flashy things. Reading maketh 
a full man ; conference a ready man ; and writing an exact 

zo man. And therefore, if a man write little he had need have 
a great memory ; if he confer little he had need have a 
present wit ; and if he read little he had need have much 
cunning, to seem to know that he doth not. Histories 
make men wise ; poets, witty ; the mathematics, subtile ; 
natural philosophy, deep ; moral, grave ; logic and rhetoric, 
able to contend. Abeuni siudia in mores. Nay there is 
no stond or impediment in the wit but may be wrought 
out by fit studies : like as diseases of the body may have 
appropriate exercises. Bowling is good for the stone and 

30 reins ; shooting for the lungs and breast ; gentle walking for 
the stomach ; riding for the head ; and the like. So if a man's 
wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics ; for in 
demonstrations, if his wit be called away never so little, he 
must begin again. If his wit be not apt to distinguish or 
find differences, let him study the schoolmen ; for they are 


Cymini seciores. If he be not apt to beat over matters, and 
to call up one thing to prove and illustrate another, let him 
study the lawyers' cases. So every defect of the mind may 
have a special receipt. 

LIV. Of Vain Glory 

It was prettily devised of Aesop, The fly sat upon the 
axle-tree of the chariot-wheel and said, what a dust do I raise. 
So are there some vain persons that, whatsoever goeth 
alone or moveth upon greater means, if they have never 
so little hand in it, they think it is they that carry it. They 
that are glorious must needs be factious ; for all bravery 10 
stands upon comparisons. They must needs be violent to 
make good their own vaunts. Neither can they be secret, 
and therefore not effectual ; but according to the French 
proverb Beaucoup de bruit, peu de fruit : much bruit, little 
fruit. Yet certainly there is use of this quality in civil 
affairs. Where there is an opinion and fame to be created, 
either of virtue or greatness, these men are good trumpeters. 
Again, as Titus Livius noteth in the case of Antiochus and 
the Aetolians, there are sometimes great effects of cross lies ; 
as if a man that negotiates between two princes, to draw 20 
them to join in a war against the third, doth extol the forces 
of either of them above measure, the one to the other : and 
sometimes he that deals between man and man raiseth his 
own credit with both by pretending greater interest than 
he hath in either. And in these and the like kinds it often 
falls out that somewhat is produced of nothing ; for lies 
are sufficient to breed opinion, and opinion brings on sub- 
stance. In militar commanders and soldiers, vain glory 
is an essential point ; for as iron sharpens iron, so by glory 
one courage sharpeneth another. In cases of great enter- 3° 
prise, upon charge and adventure, a composition of glorious 
natures doth put life into business ; and those that are of 


solid and sober natures iiave more of the ballast than of 
the sail. In fame of learning, the flight will be slow without 
some feathers of ostentation. Qui de contemnenda gloria 
libros scribunt, nomen suum inscribunt. Socrates, Aristotle, 
Galen, were men full of ostentation. Certainly vain glory 
helpeth to perpetuate a man's memory ; and virtue was 
never so beholding to human nature as it received his due 
at the second hand. Neither had the fame of Cicero, Seneca, 
Plinius Secundus, borne her age so well if it had not been 

10 joined with some vanity in themselves ; like unto vamish, 
that makes seelings not only shine but last. But all this 
while, when I speak of vain glory, I mean not of that 
property that Tacitus doth attribute to Mucianus, Omnium 
quae dixerat feceratque, arte quadam ostentator : for that 
proceeds not of vanity, but of natural magnanimity and 
discretion, and in some persons is not only comely, but 
gracious. For excusations, cessions, modesty itself well 
governed, are but arts of ostentation. And amongst those 
arts there is none better than that which PHnius Secundus 

20 speaketh of ; which is to be liberal of praise and com- 
mendation to others in that wherein a man's self hath 
any perfection. For saith Pliny very wittily, In commend- 
ing another you do yourself right ; for he that you 
commend is either superior to you in that you commend, 
or inferior. If he be inferior, if he be to be commended, 
you much more : if he be superior, if he be not to be 
commended, you much less. Glorious men are the scorn of 
wise men, the admiration of fools, the idols of parasites, 
and the slaves of their own vaunts. 

Tvvoo Bookes of 

Francis Bacon, 

Of the proficience and aduance- 

ment of Learning, diufne and 


To the K^g'. 

At London, 

^ Printed for Henrie Tomes y and 

are to be fould at his (hop at Graies Innc 
Gate in Holborng. nf of. 


Objections made to Learning 

And for the conceit that learning should dispose men to 
leisure and privateness, and make men slothful ; it were a 
strange thing if that which accustometh the mind to a 
perpetual motion and agitation should induce slothfulness : 
whereas contrariwise it may be truly affirmed, that no kind 
of men love business for itself but those that are learned ; 
for other persons love it for profit, as an hireling, that loves 
the work for the wages ; or for honour, as because it beareth 
them up in the eyes of men, and refresheth their reputation, 

lo which otherwise would wear ; or because it putteth them 
in mind of their fortune, and giveth them occasion to 
pleasure and displeasure ; or because it exerciseth some 
faculty wherein they take pride, and so entertaineth them 
in good humour and pleasing conceits toward themselves ; 
or because it advanceth any other their ends. So that as it 
is said of untrue valours, that some men's valours are in 
the eyes of them that look on ; so such men's industries are 
in the eyes of others, or at least in regard of their own 
designments : only learned men love business as an action 

20 according to nature, as agreeable to health of mind as 
exercise is to health of body, taking pleasure in the action 
itself, and not in the purchase : so that of all men they are 
the most indefatigable, if it be towards any business which 
can hold or detain their mind. 

And if any man be laborious in reading and study and 
yet idle in business and action, it groweth from some weak- 
ness of body or softness of spirits ; such as Seneca speaketh 
of : Quidam tarn sunt umbratiles, ut putent in turbido esse 


quicquid in luce est ; and not of learning : well may it be 
that such a point of a man's nature may make him give 
himself to learning, but it is not learning that breedeth any 
such point in his nature. 

And that learning should take up too much time or leisure ; 
I answer, the most active or busy man that hath been or 
can be, hath (no question) many vacant times of leisure, 
while he expecteth the tides and returns of business (except 
he be either tedious and of no dispatch, or lightly and 
unworthily ambitious to meddle in things that may be 10 
better done by others), smd then the question is but how 
those spaces and times of leisure shall be filled and spent ; 
whether in pleasures or in studies ; as was well answered 
by Demosthenes to his adversary jEschines, that was a man 
given to pleasure and told him That his orations did smell 
of the lamp ; Indeed (said Demosthenes) there is a great 
difference between the things that you and I do by lamp-light. 
So as no man need doubt that learning will expulse business, 
but rather it will keep and defend the possession of the 
mind against idleness and pleasure, which otherwise at 20 
unawares may enter to the prejudice of both. 

Again, for that other conceit that learning should under- 
mine the reverence of laws and government, it is assuredly 
a mere depravation and calumny, without all shadow of 
truth. For to say that a blind custom of obedience should 
be a surer obligation than duty taught and understood, it 
is to affirm, that a blind man may tread surer by a guide 
than a seeing man can by a light. And it is without all 
controversy, that learning doth make the minds of men 
gentle, generous, maniable, and pliant to government ; 30 
whereas ignorance makes them churlish, thwart, and 
mutinous : and the evidence of time doth clear this asser- 
tion, considering that the most barbarous, rude, and un- 
learned times have been most subject to tumults, seditions, 
and changes. 



And for meanness of employment, that which is most 
traduced to contempt is that the government of youth is 
commonly allotted to them ; which age, because it is the 
age of least authority, it is transferred to the disesteeming 
of those employments wherein youth is conversant, and 
which are conversant about youth. But how unjust this 
traducement is (if you will reduce things from popularity 
of opinion to measure of reason) may appear in that we see 
men are more curious what they put into a new vessel than 

lo into a vessel seasoned ; and what mould they lay about a 
young plant than about a plant corroborate ; so as the 
weakest terms and times of all things use to have the best 
applications and helps. And will you hearken to the 
Hebrew rabbins ? Your young men shall see visions, and 
your old men shall dream dreams ; say they youth is the 
worthier age, for that visions are nearer apparitions of God 
than dreams ? And let it be noted, that howsoever the 
condition of life of pedantes hath been scorned upon 
theatres, as the ape of tyranny ; and that the modem 

20 looseness or negligence hath taken no due regard to the 
choice of schoolmasters and tutors ; yet the ancient wisdom 
of the best times did always make a just complaint that 
states were too busy with their laws and too negligent in 
point of education : which excellent part of ancient disci- 
pline hath been in some sort revived of late times by the 
colleges of the Jesuits, of whom, although in regard of their 
superstition I may say, Quo meliores, eo deieriores ; yet in 
regard to this, and some other points concerning human 
learning and moral matters, I may say, as Agesilaus said 

30 to his enemy Phamabazus, Talis quum sis, utinam nosier 
esses. And thus much touching the discredits drawn from 
the fortunes of learned men. 


Self and Country 

Another fault likewise much of this kind hath been 
incident to learned men ; which is, that they have esteemed 
the preservation, good, and honour or their countries or 
masters before their own fortunes or safeties. For so saith 
Demosthenes unto the Athenians ; // it please you to note 
it, my counsels unto you are not such whereby I should grow 
great amongst you, and you become little amongst the Grecians ; 
but they be of that nature, as they are sometimes not good for 
me to give, but are always good for you to follow. And so 
Seneca, after he had consecrated that Quinquennium lo 
Neronis to the eternal glory of learned governors, held on 
his honest and loyal course of good and free counsel, after 
his master grew extremely corrupt in his government. 
Neither can this point otherwise be ; for learning endueth 
men's minds with a true sense of the frailty of their persons, 
the casualty of their fortunes, and the dignity of their soul 
and vocation : so that it is impossible for them to esteem 
that any greatness of their own fortune can be a true or 
worthy end of their being and ordainment ; and therefore 
are desirous to give their account to God, and so likewise 20 
to their masters under God (as kings and the states that 
they serve) in these words : Ecce tibi lucrifici, and not Ecce 
mihi lucrifici; whereas the corrupter sort of mere politiques, 
that have not their thoughts established by learning in the 
love and apprehension of duty, nor never look abroad into 
universality, do refer all things to themselves, and thrust 
themselves into the centre of the world, as if all lines 
should meet in them and their fortunes ; never caring in 
all tempests what becomes of the ship of estates, so they 
may save themselves in the cockboat of their own fortune : 3° 
whereas men that feel the weight of duty and know the 
hmits of self-love, use to make good their places and duties, 
though with peril ; and if they stand in seditious and violent 


alterations, it is rather the reverence which many times 
both adverse parts do give to honesty, than any versatile 
advantage of their own carriage. But for this point of 
tender sense and fast obligation of duty which learning doth 
endue the mind withal, howsoever fortune may tax it, and 
many in the depth of their corrupt principles may despise 
it, yet it will receive an open allowance, and therefore needs 
the less disproof or excusation. 

Words and Matter 

Here therefore is the first distemper of learning, when 
lo men study words and not matter ; whereof, though I have 
represented an example of late times, yet it hath been and 
will be secundum majus et minus in all time. And how is it 
possible but this should have an operation to discredit learn- 
ing, even with vulgar capacities, when they see learned men's 
works like the first letter of a patent, or limned book ; 
which though it hath large flourishes, yet it is but a letter ? 
It seems to me that Pygmalion's frenzy is a good emblem 
or portraiture of this vanity : for words are but the images 
of matter; and except they have life of reason and invention, 
20 to fall in love with them is all one as to fall in love with a 

The End of Knowledge 

But the greatest error of all the rest is the mistaking or 
misplacing of the last or furthest end of knowledge. For 
men have entered into a desire of learning and knowledge, 
sometimes upon a natural curiosity and inquisitive appetite ; 
sometimes to entertain their minds with variety and delight ; 
sometimes for ornament and reputation ; and sometimes 
to enable them to victory of wit and contradiction ; and 
most times for lucre and profession ; and seldom sincerely 


D give a true account of their gift of reason, to the benefit 
nd use of men : as if there were sought in knowledge a 
ouch whereupon to rest a searching and restless spirit ; or 
terrace for a wandering and variable mind to walk up 
nd down with a fair prospect ; or a tower of state for a 
iroud mind to raise itself upon ; or a fort or commanding 
round for strife and contention ; or a shop for profit or 
ale ; and not a rich storehouse for the glory of the Creator 
nd the relief of man's estate. But this is that which will 
ndeed dignify and exalt knowledge, if contemplation and 10 
ction may be more nearly and straitly conjoined and 
inited together than they have been ; a conjunction like 
into that of the two highest planets, Saturn, the planet of 
est and contemplation, and Jupiter, the planet of civil 
ociety and action. Howbeit, I do not mean, when I speak 
)f use and action, that end before-mentioned of the apply- 
ng of knowledge to lucre and profession ; for I am not 
gnorant how much that diverteth and interrupteth the 
jrosecution and advancement of knowledge, like unto the 
jolden ball thrown before Atalanta, which while she goeth 20 
iside and stoopeth to take up, the race is hindered, 

DecHnat cursus, aurumque volubile tollit. 

^Jeither is my meaning, as was spoken of Socrates, to call 
jhilosophy down from heaven to converse upon the earth ; 
hat is, to leave natural philosophy aside, and to apply 
mowledge only to manners and pohcy. But as both heaven 
md earth do conspire and contribute to the use and benefit 
)f man ; so the end ought to be, from both philosophies to 
;eparate and reject vain speculations, and whatsoever is 
;mpty and void, and to preserve and augment whatsoever 3° 
s sohd and fruitful : that knowledge may not be as a 
;ourtesan, for pleasure and vanity only, or as a bond- 
voman, to acquire and gain to her master's use ; but as a 
;pouse, for generation, fruit, and comfort. 
2i79'i6 I 


Learning makes for Peace and Order 

Neither is certainly that other merit of learning, in re- 
pressing the inconveniences which grow from man to man, 
much inferior to the former, of relieving the necessities 
which arise from nature ; which merit was lively set forth 
by the ancients in that feigned relation of Orpheus' theatre, 
where all beasts and birds assembled ; and forgetting their 
several appetites, some of prey, some of game, some of 
quarrel, stood all sociably together listening unto the airs 
and accords of the harp : the sound whereof no sooner 

10 ceased, or was drowned by some louder noise, but every 
beast returned to his own nature : wherein is aptly de- 
scribed the nature and condition of men, who are full of 
savage and unreclaimed desires, of profit, of lust, of revenge ; 
which as long as they give ear to precepts, to laws, to religion, 
sweetly touched with eloquence and persuasion of books, 
of sermons, of harangues, so long is society and peace main- 
tained ; but if these instruments be silent, or that sedition 
and tumult make them not audible, all things dissolve into 
anarchy and confusion. 

20 But this appeareth more manifestly, when kings them- 
selves, or persons of authority under them, or other gover- 
nors in commonwealths and popular estates, are endued 
with learning. For although he might be thought partial 
to his own profession, that said Then should people and 
estates he happy, when either kings were philosophers, or 
philosophers kings ; yet so much is verified by experience, 
that under learned princes and governors there have been 
ever the best times : for howsoever kings may have their 
imperfections in their passions and customs ; yet if they be 

30 illuminate by learning, they have those notions of religion, 
policy, and morality, which do preserve them and refrain 
them from all ruinous and peremptory errors and excesses : 
whispering evermore in their ears, when counsellors and 


servants stand mute and silent. And senators or counsellors 
likewise, which be learned, do proceed upon more safe and 
substantial principles, than counsellors which are only men 
of experience : the one sort keeping dangers afar off, whereas 
the other discover them not till they come near hand, and 
then trust to the agiUty of their wit to ward or avoid them. 

Knowledge and Private Virtue 

To proceed now from imperial and military virtue to 
moral and private virtue ; first, it is an assured truth, 
which is contained in the verses. 

Scilicet ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes 10 

Emollit mores, nee sinit esse feros. 

It taketh away the wildness and barbarism and fierceness 
of men's minds ; but indeed the accent had need be upon 
fideliter ; for a little superficial learning doth rather work 
a contrary effect. It taketh away all levity, temerity, and 
insolency, by copious suggestion of all doubts and diffi- 
culties, and acquainting the mind to balance reasons on 
both sides, and to turn back the first offers and conceits of 
the mind, and to accept of nothing but examined and tried. 
It taketh away vain admiration of anything, which is the 20 
root of all weakness. For all things are admired either 
because they are new, or because they are great. For 
novelty, no man that wadeth in learning or contemplation 
throughly, but will find that printed in his heart, Nil novi 
super terram. Neither can any man marvel at the play of 
puppets, that goeth behind the curtain, and adviseth well 
of the motion. And for magnitude, as Alexander the Great, 
after that he was used to great armies, andthe great conquests 
of the spacious provinces in Asia, when he received letters 
out of Greece, of some fights and services there, which were 30 
commonly for a passage, or a fort, or some walled town at 
the most, he said. It seemed to him, that he was advertised of 

I 2 


the battles of the frogs and the mice, that the old tales went of. 
So certainly, if a man meditate much upon the universal 
frame of nature, the earth with men upon it (the divineness 
of souls except) will not seem much other than an ant-hill 
whereas some ants carry com, and some carry their young, 
and some go empty, and all to and fro a little heap of dust. 
It taketh away or mitigateth fear of death or adverse fortune ; 
which is one of the greatest impediments of virtue, and 
imperfections of manners. For if a man's mind be deeply 
lo seasoned with the consideration of the mortahty and 
corruptible nature of things, he will easily concur with 
Epictetus who went forth one day and saw a woman weep- 
ing for her pitcher of earth that was broken, and went forth 
the next day and saw a woman weeping for her son that was 
dead, and thereupon said, Heri vidi fragilem frangi, hodie 
vidi mortalem mori. And therefore Virgil did excellently 
and profoundly couple the knowledge of causes and the 
conquest of all fears together, as concomitantia. 

Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas, 
20 Quique metus omnes, et inexorabile fatum 

Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari. 

It were too long to go over the particular remedies which 
learning doth minister to all the diseases of the mind ; some- 
times purging the ill-humours, sometimes opening the ob- 
structions, sometimes helping digestion, sometimes increas- 
ing appetite, sometimes healing the wounds and exulcerations 
thereof, and the like ; and therefore I will conclude with that 
which hath rationem totius ; which is, that it disposeth the 
constitution of the mind not to be fixed or settled in the 
30 defects thereof, but still to be capable and susceptible of 
growth and reformation. For the unlearned man knows not 
what it is to descend into himself, or to call himself to account, 
nor the pleasure of that suavissima vita, indies sentire se fieri 
meliorem. The good parts he hath he will learn to show 
to the full, and use them dexterously, but not much to 


increase them. The faults he hath he will learn how to hide 
and colour them, but not much to amend them ; like an ill 
mower, that mows on still, and never whets his scythe. 
Whereas with the learned man it fares otherwise, that he 
doth ever intermix the correction and amendment of his 
mind with the use and emplo3mient thereof. Nay further, 
in general and in sum, certain it is that Veritas and Bonitas 
differ but as the seal and the print : for Truth prints Good- 
ness, and they be the clouds of error which descend in the 
storms of passions and perturbations. 10 

From moral virtue let us pass on to the matter of power 
and commandment, and consider whether in right reason 
there be any comparable with that wherewith knowledge 
investeth and crowneth man's nature. We see the dignity 
of the commandment is according to the dignity of the 
commanded : to have commandment over beasts, as herds- 
men have, is a thing contemptible : to have commandment 
over children, as schoolmasters have, is a matter of small 
honour : to have commandment over gaUey-slaves is a 
disparagement rather than an honour. Neither is the com- 20 
mandment of tyrants much better, over people which have 
put off the generosity of their minds : and therefore it was 
ever holden that honours in free monarchies and common- 
wealths had a sweetness more than in tyrannies, because 
the commandment extendeth more over the wills of men, 
and not only over their deeds and services. And therefore, 
when Virgil putteth himself forth to attribute to Augustus 
Caesar the best of human honours, he doth it in these words: 

Victorque volentes 
Per populos dat jura, viamque affectat Ol5mipo. 30 

But the commandment of knowledge is yet higher than the 
commandment over the will : for it is a commandment over 
the reason, belief, and understanding of man, which is the 
highest part of the mind, and giveth law to the will itself. 
For there is no power on earth which setteth up a throne or 


chair of estate in the spirits and souls of men, and in their 
cogitations, imaginations, opinions, and beliefs, but know- 
ledge and learning. And therefore we see the detestable 
and extreme pleasure that arch-heretics, and false prophets, 
and impostors are transported with, when they once find 
in themselves that they have a superiority in the faith and 
conscience of men ; so great as if they have once tasted of 
it, it is seldom seen that any torture or persecution can 
make them relinquish or abandon it. But as this is that 
lo which the author of the Revelation calleth the depth or 
profoundness of Satan, so by argument of contraries, the 
just and lawful sovereignty over men's understanding, by 
force of truth rightly interpreted, is that which approacheth 
nearest to the similitude of the divine rule 

The Pleasure of Learning 
Again, for the pleasure and delight of knowledge and 
learning, it far surpasseth all other in nature. For, shall 
the pleasures of the affections so exceed the pleasure of the 
sense, as much as the obtaining of desire or victory ex- 
ceedeth a song or a dinner ? and must not of consequence 

20 the pleasures of the intellect or understanding exceed the 
pleasures of the affections ? We see in all other pleasures 
there is satiety, and after they be used, their verdure de- 
parteth ; which showeth well they be but deceits of pleasure, 
and not pleasures : and that it was the novelty which 
pleased, and not the quality. And therefore we see that 
voluptuous men turn friars, and ambitious princes turn 
melancholy. But of knowledge there is no satiety, but 
satisfaction and appetite are perpetually interchangeable ; 
and therefore appeareth to be good in itself simply, without 

30 fallacy or accident. Neither is that pleasure of small 
efficacy and contentment to the mind of man, which the 
poet Lucretius describeth elegantly. 

Suave mari magno, turbantibus aequora ventis, &c. 


It is a view of delight (saith he) to stand or walk upon the 
shore side, and to see a ship tossedwith tempest upon the sea; or 
toieina fortified tower, and to see two battles join upon a plain. 
But it is a pleasure incomparable, for the mind of man to be 
settled, landed, and fortified in the certainty of truth ; and 
from thence to descry and behold the errors, perturbations, 
labours, and wanderings up and down of other men. 

Acts of Merit towards Learning 

The works or acts of merit towards learning are coii- 
versant about three objects ; the places of learning, the 
books of learning, and the persons of the learned. For as 10 
water, whether it be the dew of heaven, or the springs of 
the earth, doth scatter and leese itself in the ground, except 
it be collected into some receptacle, where it may by imion 
comfort and sustain itself : and for that cause the industry 
of man hath made and framed spring-heads, conduits, 
cisterns, and pools, which men have accustomed likewise 
to beautify and adorn with accomplishments of magnificence 
and state, as well as of use and necessity : so this excellent 
liquor of knowledge, whether it descend from divine inspira- 
tion, or spring from human sense, would soon perish and 20 
vanish to oblivion, if it were not preserved in books, tradi- 
tions, conferences, and places appointed, as universities, 
colleges, and schools, for the receipt and comforting of the 

Limitations of Colleges 

First therefore, amongst so many great foundations of 
colleges in Europe, I find strange that they are all dedicated 
to professions, and none left free to arts and sciences at 
large. For if men judge that learning should be referred 
to action, they judge well ; but in this they fall into the error 
described in the ancient fable, in which the other parts of 30 

120 JfAbbALrJib JfK.UiVi iJrlJi 

the body did suppose the stomach had been idle, because 
it neither performed the office of motion, as the limbs do, 
nor of sense, as the head doth : but yet notwithstanding 
it is the stomach that digesteth and distributeth to all the 
rest. So if any man think philosophy and universality to 
be idle studies, he doth not consider that all professions are 
from thence served and supplied. And this I take to be a 
great cause that hath hindered the progression of learning, 
because these fundamental knowledges have been studied 

10 but in passage. For if you will have a tree bear more fruit 
than it hath used to do, it is not anything you can do to the 
boughs, but it is the stirring of the earth and putting new 
mould about the roots that must work it. Neither is it to 
be forgotten, that this dedicating of foundations and do- 
tations to professory learning hath not only had a malign 
aspect and influence upon the growth of sciences, but hath 
also been prejudicial to states and governments. For hence 
it proceedeth that princes find a solitude in regard of able 
men to serve them in causes of estate, because there is no 

20 education collegiate which is free ; where such as were so 
disposed mought give themselves to histories, modern 
languages, books of policy and civil discourse, and other the 
like enablements unto service of estate. 

Intercourse of Universities 

Another defect which I note, ascendeth a little higher 
than the precedent. For as the proficience of learning con- 
sisteth much in the orders and institutions of universities 
in the same states and kingdoms, so it would be yet more 
advanced, if there were more intelligence mutual between 
the universities of Europe than now there is. We see there 
30 be many orders and foundations, which though they be 
divided under several sovereignties and territories, yet 
they take themselves to have a kind of contract, fraternity, 


and correspondence one with the other, insomuch as they 
have provincials and generals. And surely as nature createth 
brotherhood in families, and arts mechanical contract 
brotherhoods in communalties, and the anointment of God 
superinduceth a brotherhood in kings and bishops, so in like 
manner there cannot but be a fraternity in learning and 
illumination, relating to that paternity which is attributed 
to God, who is called the Father of illuminations or lights. 

Reason, Will, and Imagination 

The knowledge which respecteth the faculties of the mind 
of man is of two kinds ; the one respecting his understand- 10 
ing and reason, and the other his will, appetite, and affec- 
tion ; whereof the former produceth position or decree, the 
latter action or execution. It is true that the imagination 
is an agent or nuncius, in both provinces, both the judicial 
and the ministerial. For sense sendeth over to imagination 
before reason have judged : and reason sendeth over to 
imagination before the decree can be acted. For imagination 
ever precedeth voluntary motion. Saving that this Janus 
of imagination hath differing faces : for the face towards 
reason hath the print of truth, but the face towards action 20 
hath the print of good ; which nevertheless are faces, 

Quales decet esse sororum. 

Neither is the imagination simply and only a messenger ; 
but is invested with, or at least wise usurpeth no small 
authority in itself, besides the duty of the message. For it 
was well said by Aristotle, That the mind hath over the body 
that commandment, which the lord hath over a bond-man ; 
hut that reason hath over the imagination that commandment 
which a magistrate hath over a free citizen ; who may come 
also to rule in his turn. For we see that, in matters of faith 3° 
and religion, we raise our imagination above our reason ; 
which is the cause why religion sought ever access to the 


mind by similitudes, types, parables, visions, dreams. And 
again, in all persuasions that are wrought by eloquence, 
and other impressions of like nature, which do paint and 
disguise the true appearance of things, the chief recom- 
mendation unto reason is from the imagination. Never- 
theless, because I find not any science that doth properly 
or fitly pertain to the imagination, I see no cause to alter 
the former division. For as for poesy, it is rather a pleasure 
or play of imagination, than a work of duty thereof. And 

lo if it be a work, we speak not now of such parts of learning 
as the imagination produceth, but of such sciences as 
handle and consider of the imagination. No more than we 
shall speak now of such knowledges as reason produceth (for 
that extendeth to all philosophy), but of such knowledges 
as do handle and inquire of the faculty of reason : so as 
poesy had his true place. As for the power of the imagina- 
tion in nature, and the manner of fortifying the same, we 
have mentioned it in the doctrine De Anima, whereunto 
most fitly it belongeth. And lastly, for imaginative or 

20 insinuative reason, which is the subject of rhetoric, we 
think it best to refer it to the arts of reason. So therefore 
we content ourselves with the former division, that human 
philosophy which respecteth the faculties of the mind of 
man, hath two parts, rational and moral. 


For the other principal part of the custody of knowledge, 
which is memory, I find that faculty in my judgement 
weakly inquired of. An art there is extant of it ; but it 
seemeth to me that there are better precepts than that art, 
and better practices of that art than those received. It is 
30 certain the art (as it is) may be raised to points of ostentation 
prodigious : but in use (as it is now managed) it is barren, 
not burdensome, nor dangerous to natural memory, as is 
imagined, but barren, that is, not dexterous to be applied to 


the serious use of business and occasions. And therefore I 
make no more estimation of repeating a great number of 
names or words upon once hearing, or the pouring forth of a 
number of verses or rhymes ex tempore, or the making of a 
satirical simile of everything, or the turning of everything 
to a jest, or the falsifying or contradicting of everything by 
cavil, or the like (whereof in the faculties of the mind there 
is great copie, and such as by device and practice may be 
exalted to an extreme degree of wonder), than I do of the 
tricks of tumblers, funambuloes, baladines ; the one being 10 
the same in the mind that the other is in the body, matters 
of strangeness without worthiness. 

Knowledges as delivered 

For as knowledges are now delivered, there is a kind of 
contract of error between the deUverer and the receiver. 
For he that delivereth knowledge, desireth to deliver it in 
such form as may be best believed, and not as may be best 
examined ; and he that receiveth knowledge, desireth 
rather present satisfaction, than expectant inquiry ; and so 
rather not to doubt, than not to err : glory making the 
author not to lay open his weakness, and sloth making the 20 
disciple not to know his strength. 

But knowledge that is delivered as a thread to be spun on, 
ought to be delivered and intimated, if it were possible, in 
the same method wherein it was invented : and so is it 
possible of knowledge induced. But in this same anticipated 
and prevented knowledge, no man knoweth how he came to 
the knowledge which he hath obtained. But yet neverthe- 
less, secundum majus el minus, a man may revisit and descend 
unto the foundations of his knowledge and consent ; and 
so transplant it into another, as it grew in his own mind. 3° 
For it is in knowledges as it is in plants : if you mean to use 
the plant, it is no matter for the roots ; but if you mean to 


remove it to grow, then it is more assured to rest upon roots 
than slips : so the delivery of knowledges (as it is now used) 
is as of fair bodies of trees without the roots ; good for the 
carpenter, but not for the planter. But if you will have 
sciences grow, it is less matter for the shaft or body of the 
tree, so you look well to the taking up of the roots. Of 
which kind of delivery the method of the mathematics, 
in that subject, hath some shadow : but generally I 
see it neither put in ure nor put in inquisition, and there- 
D fore note it for deficient. 

Double Nature of Good 

There is formed in every thing a double nature of good : 
the one, as every thing is a total or substantive in itself ; 
the other, as it is a part or member of a greater body : 
whereof the latter is in degree the greater and the worthier, 
because it tendeth to the conservation of a more general 
form. Therefore we see the iron in particular sympathy 
moveth to the loadstone ; but yet if it exceed a certain 
quantity, it forsaketh the affection to the loadstone, and 
like a good patriot moveth to the earth, which is the region 

and country of massy bodies : so may we go forward, and 
see that water and massy bodies move to the centre of the 
earth ; but rather than to suffer a divulsion in the con~ 
tinuance of nature, they will move upwards from the centre 
of the earth, forsaking their duty to the earth in regard of 
their duty to the world. This double nature of good, and 
the comparative thereof, is much more engraven upon man, 
if he degenerate not : unto whom the conservation of duty 
to the public ought to be much more precious than the con- 
servation of life and being : according to that memorable 

o speech of Pompeius Magnus, when being in commission of 
purveyance for a famine at Rome, and being dissuaded 
with great vehemency and instance by his friends about 


him, that he should not hazard himself to sea in an extremity 
of weather, he said only to them, Necesse est ut earn, non ut 
vivam. But it may be truly affirmed that there was never 
any philosophy, religion, or other discipline, which did so 
plainly and highly exalt the good which is communicative, 
and depress the good which is private and particular, as 
the Holy Faith ; well declaring that it was the same God 
that gave the Christian law to men, who gave those laws of 
nature to inanimate creatures that we spake of before ; for 
we read that the elected saints of God have wished them- 10 
selves anathematized and razed out of the book of life, in 
an ecstasy of charity and infinite feeling of communion. 

This being set down and strongly planted, doth judge 
and determine most of the controversies wherein moral 
philosophy is conversant. For first, it decideth the question 
touching the preferment of the contemplative or active life, 
and decideth it against Aristotle. For all the reasons which 
he bringeth for the contemplative are private, and re- 
specting the pleasure and dignity of a man's self (in which 
respects no question the contemplative life hath the pre- 20 
eminence), not much unlike to that comparison, which 
Pythagoras made for the gracing and magnifying of 
philosophy and contemplation : who being asked what he 
was, answered. That if Hiero were ever at the Olympian 
games, he knew the manner, that some came to try their fortune 
for the prizes, and, some came as merchants to utter their 
commodities, and some came to make good cheer and meet 
their friends, and som,e came to look on ; and that he was one 
of them that came to look on. But men must know, that in 
this theatre of man's life it is reserved only for God and 30 
angels to be lookers on. Neither could the like question 
ever have been received in the church, notwithstanding 
their Pretiosa in oculis Domini mors sanctorum ejus, by 
which place they would exalt their civil death and regular 
professions, but upon this defence, that the monastical life 


is not simple contemplative, but performeth the duty either 
of incessant prayers and supplications, which hath been truly 
esteemed as an office in the church, or else of writing or 
taking instructions for writing concerning the law of God, 
as Moses did when he abode so long in the mount. And so 
we see Henoch the seventh from Adam, who. was the first 
contemplative and walked with God, yet did also endow 
the church with prophecy, which Saint Jude citeth. But 
for contemplation which should be finished in itself, with- 
10 out casting beams upon society, assuredly divinity knoweth 
it not. 

Private and Public Good 

Having therefore deduced the good of man which is 
private and particular, as far as seemeth fit, we will now 
return to that good of man which respecteth and beholdeth 
society, which we may term duty ; because the term of 
duty is more proper to a mind well framed and disposed 
towards others, as the term of virtue is applied to a mind 
well formed and composed in itself; though neither can 
a man understand virtue without some relation to society, 

zonor duty without an inward disposition. This part may 
seem at first to pertain to science civil and politic : but not 
if it be well observed. For it concemeth the regiment jind 
government of every man over himself, and not over others. 
And as in architecture the direction of framing the posts, 
beams, and other parts of building, is not the same with 
the manner of joining them and erecting the building ; and 
in mechanicals, the direction how to frame an instrument 
or engine, is not the same with the manner of setting it on 
work and employing it ; and yet nevertheless in expressing 

30 of the one you incidently express the aptness towards the 
other ; so the doctrine of conjugation of men in society 
differeth from that of their conformity thereunto. 
This part of duty is subdivided into two parts : the 


common duty of every man, as a man or member of a state ; 
the other, the respective or social duty of every man, in his 
profession, vocation, and place. The first of these is extant 
and well laboured, as hath been said. The second likewise 
I may report rather dispersed than deficient ; which manner 
of dispersed writing in this kind of argument I acknowledge 
to be best. For who can take upon him to write of the 
proper duty, virtue, challenge, and right of every several 
vocation, profession, and place ? For although sometimes 
a looker on may see more than a gamester, and there be a i< 
proverb more arrogant than sound. That the vale best 
discovereth the hill ; yet there is small doubt but that men 
can write best and most really and materially in their own 
professions ; and that the writing of speculative men of 
active matter for the most part doth seem to men of 
experience, as Phormio's argiunent of the wars seemed 
to Hannibal, to be but dreams and dotage. Only there 
is one vice which accompanieth them that write in 
their own professions, that they magnify them in excess. 
But generally it were to be wished (as that which would 2c 
make learning indeed solid and fruitful) that active men 
would or could become writers. 

The Affections 

Another article of this knowledge is the inquiry touching 
the affections ; for as in medicining of the body, it is in 
order first to know the divers complexions and constitutions; 
secondly, the diseases ; and lastly, the cures : so in medi- 
cining of the mind, after knowledge of the divers characters 
of men's natures, it followeth in order to know the diseases 
and infirmities of the mind, which are no other than the 
perturbations and distempers of the affections. For as the 3c 
ancient politiques in popular estates were wont to compare 
the people to the sea, and the orators to the winds ; because 
as the sea would of itself be calm and quiet, if the winds did 


not move and trouble it ; so the people would be peaceable 
and tractable, if the seditious orators did not set them in 
working and agitation : so it may be fitly said, that the 
mind in the nature thereof would be temperate and stayed, 
if the affections, as winds, did not put it into tumult and 
perturbation. And here again I find strange, as before, 
that Aristotle should have written divers volumes of Ethics, 
and never handled the affections, which is the principal 
subject thereof ; and yet in his Rhetorics, where they are 

lo considered but collaterally and in a second degree (as they 
may be moved by speech), he findeth place for them, and 
handleth them well for the quantity ; but where their true 
place is, he pretermitteth them. For it is not his disputa- 
tions about pleasure and pain that can satisfy this inquiry, 
no more than he that should generally handle the nature of 
light can be said to handle the nature of colours ; for 
pleasure and pain are to the particular affections, as light 
is to particular colours. Better travails, I suppose, had 
the Stoics taken in this argument, as far as I can gather by 

20 that which we have at second hand. But yet it is like it was 
after their manner, rather in subtilty of definitions (which 
in a subject of this nature are but curiosities), than in 
active and ample descriptions and observations. So hke- 
wise I find some particular writings of an elegant nature, 
touching some of the affections ; as of anger, of comfort 
upon adverse accidents, of tenderness of countenance, and 
other. But the poets and writers of histories are the best 
doctors of this knowledge ; where we may find painted 
forth with great life, how affections are kindled and incited ; 
and how pacified and refrained ; and how again contained 

30 from act and further degree ; how they disclose themselves ; 
how they work ; how they vary ; how they gather and 
fortify ; how they are enwrapped one withm another ; and 
howthey do fight and encounter Onewith another; and other 
the like particularities. Amongst the which this last is of 


special use in moral and civil matters ; how, I say, to set 
affection against affection, and to master one by another ; 
even as we use to hunt beast with beast, and fly bird with 
bird, which otherwise percase we could not so easily recover : 
upon which foundation is erected that excellent use of 
praemium and poena, whereby civil states consist : employ- 
ing the predominant affections of fear and hope, for the 
suppressing and bridling the rest. For as in the government 
of states it is sometimes necessary to bridle one faction with 
another, so it is in the government within. 10 

The Good Hours of the Mind 

But there is a kind of culture of the mind that seemeth 
yet more accurate and elaborate than the rest, and is 
built upon this groimd ; that the minds of all men are 
at some times in a state more perfect, and at other 
times in a state more depraved. The purpose therefore 
of this practice is to fix and cherish the good hours of the 
mind, and to obliterate and take forth the evil. The fixing 
of the good hath been practised by two means, vows or 
constant resolutions, and observances or exercises ; which 
are not to be regarded so much in themselves, as because 20 
they keep the mind in continual obedience. The oblitera- 
tion of the evil hath been practised by two means, some 
kind of redemption or expiation of that which is past, and 
an inception or account de novo for the time to come. But 
this part seemeth sacred and rehgious, and justly; for 
all good moral philosophy (as was said) is but an hand- 
maid to religion. 

Wherefore we will conclude with that last point, which 
is of all other means the most compendious and summary, 
and again, the most noble and effectual to the reducing of 30 
the mind unto virtue and good estate ; which is, the 
electing and propoimding unto a man's self good and vir- 
tuous ends of his Ufe, such as may be in a reasonable sort 
2179 16 K 


within his compass to attain. For if these two things be 
supposed, that a man set before him honest and good ends, 
and again, that he be resolute, constant, and true unto 
them ; it will follow that he shall mould himself into all 
virtue at once. And this is indeed like the work of nature ; 
whereas the other course is like the work of the hand. For 
as when a carver makes an image, he shapes only that part 
whereupon he worketh ; as if he be upon the face, that part 
which shall be the body is but a rude stone still, till such 

lo times as he comes to it. But contrariwise when nature 
makes a flower or living creature, she formeth rudiments 
of all the parts at one time. So in obtaining virtue by habit, 
while a man practiseth temperance, he doth not profit 
much to fortitude, nor the like : but when he dedicateth 
and applieth himself to good ends, look, what virtue soever 
the pursuit and passage towards those ends doth commend 
unto him, he is invested of a precedent disposition to 
conform himself thereunto. Which state of mind Aristotle 
doth excellently express himself, that it ought not to be 

20 called virtuous, but divine : his words are these : Im- 
manitati autem consentaneum est Opponere earn, quae supra 
humanitatem est, heroicam sive divinam virtutem : and a 
little after. Nam ut ferae neque vitium neque virtus est, sic 
neque Dei : sed hie quidem status altius quiddam virtute est, 
ille aliud quiddam a vitio. And therefore we may see what 
celsitude of honour Plinius Secundus attributeth to Trajan 
in his funeral oration ; where he said. That men needed to 
make no other prayers to the gods, but that they would continue 
as good lords to them as Trajan had been ; as if he had not 

30 been only an imitation of divine nature, but a pattern of it. 
But these be heathen and profane passages, having but a 
shadow of that divine state of mind, which religion and the 
holy faith doth conduct men unto, by imprinting upon their 
souls charity, which is excellently caUed the bond of 
perfection, because it comprehendeth and fasteneth all 


virtues together. And as it is elegantly said by Menander 
of vain love, which is but a false imitation of divine love, 
Amor melior Sophista laevo ad humanam vitam, that love 
teacheth a man to carry himself better than the sophist or 
preceptor, which he calleth left-handed, because, with all 
his rules and preceptions, he cannot form a man so dex- 
teriously, nor with that facility to prize himself and govern 
himself, as love can do : so certainly, if a man's mind be 
truly inflamed with charity, it doth work him suddenly 
into greater perfection than all the doctrine of morality can 10 
do, which is but a sophist in comparison of the other. Nay 
further, as Xenophon observed truly, that all other affec- 
tions, though they raise the mind, yet they do it by dis- 
torting and uncomeliness of ecstasies or excesses ; but only 
love doth exalt the mind, and nevertheless at the same 
instant doth settle and compose it : so in all other ex- 
cellencies, though they advance nature, yet they are subject 
to excess. Only charity admitteth no excess. For so we 
see, aspiring to be like God in power, the angels transgressed 
and fell ; Ascendam, et ero similis altissimo : by aspiring 20 
to be like God in knowledge, man transgressed and fell ; 
Eritis sicut Dii, scientes bonum et malum : but by aspiring 
to a similitude of God in goodness or love, neither man nor 
angel ever transgressed, or shall transgress. 

To prevail in Fortune 

Wherein it may appear at the first a new and unwonted 
argument to teach men how to raise and make their fortune ; 
a doctrine wherein every man perchance will be ready to 
yield himself a disciple, till he see the difiiculty : for fortune 
layeth as heavy impositions as virtue ; and it is as hard 
and severe a thing to be a true pohtique, as to be truly moral . 3° 
But the handling hereof concemeth learning greatly, both 
in honour and in substance. In honour, because pragmatical 

K 2 


men. may not go away with an opinion that learning is like 
a lark, that can mount, and sing, and please herself, and 
nothing else ; but may know that she holdeth as well of the 
hawk, that can soar aloft, and can also descend and strike 
upon the prey. In substance, because it is the perfect law 
of inquiry of truth, that nothing be in the globe of matter, 
which should not be likewise in the globe of crystal, or 
form ; that is, that there be not any thing in being and 
action, which should not be drawn and collected into con- 

ro templation and doctrine. Neither doth learning admire or 
esteem of this architecture of fortune, otherwise than as of 
an inferior work : for no man's fortune can be an end 
worthy of his being ; and many times the worthiest men 
do abandon their fortune willingly for better respects : but 
nevertheless fortune as an organ of virtue and merit 
deserveth the consideration. 

First therefore the precept which I conceive to be most 
summary towards the prevailing in fortune, is to obtain 
that window which Momus did require : who seeing in the 

20 frame of man's heart such angles and recesses, found fault 
there was not a window to look into them ; that is, to 
procure good informations of particulars touching persons, 
their natures, their desires and ends, their customs and 
fashions, their helps and advantages, and whereby they 
chiefly stand : so again their weaknesses and disadvantages, 
and where they lie most open and obnoxious ; their friends, 
factions, dependences ; and again their opposites, enviers, 
competitors, their moods and times. Sola viri molles aditus 
et iempora noras ; their principles, rules, and observations, 

30 and the like : and this not only of persons, but of actions ; 
what are on foot from time to time, and how they are con- 
ducted, favoured, opposed, and how they import, and the 
like. For the knowledge of present actions is not only 
material in itself, but without it also the knowledge of 
persons is very erroneous : for men change with the actions ; 


and whiles they are in pursuit they are one, and when they 
return to their nature they are another. 

Knowledge of Men 

But to all this part of inquiry the most compendious way 
resteth in three things : the first, to have general acquain- 
tance and inwardness with those which have general ac- 
quaintance and look most into the world ; and specially 
according to the diversity of business, and the diversity of 
persons, to have privacy and conversation with some 
one friend at least which is perfect and well intelligenced 
in every several kind. The second is to keep a good 10 
mediocrity in liberty of speech and secrecy ; in most things 
liberty : secrecy where it importeth ; for liberty of speech 
inviteth and provoketh liberty to be used again, and so 
bringeth much to a man's knowledge ; and secrecy on the 
other side induceth trust and inwardness. The last is the 
reducing of a man's self to this watchful and serene habit, 
as to make account and purpose, in every conference and 
action, as well to observe as to act. For as Epictetus would 
have a philosopher in every particular action to say to him- 
self, Et hoc volo, et etiam institutum servare ; so a politic man 20 
in everything should say to himself, Et hoc volo, ac etiam 
aliquid addiscere. I have stayed the longer upon this 
precept of obtaining good information, because it is a 
main part by itself, which answereth to all the rest. But, 
above all things, caution must be taken that men have a 
good stay and hold of themselves, and that this much 
knowing do not draw on much meddling ; for nothing is 
more unfortunate than light and rash intermeddling in 
many matters. So that this variety of knowledge tendeth 
in conclusion but only to this, to make a better and freer 30 
choice of those actions which may concern us, and to 
conduct them with the less error and the more dexterity. 


The Proportion of Things 

Another precept of this architecture of fortune is to 
accustom our minds to judge of the proportion or value of 
things, as they conduce and are material to our particular 
ends : and that to do substantially, and not superficially. 
For we shall find the logical part (as I may term it) of some 
men's minds good, but the mathematical part erroneous ; 
that is, they can well judge of consequences, but not of pro- 
portions and comparison, preferring things of show and 
sense before things of substance and effect. So some fall 

lo in love with access to princes, others with popular fame 
and applause, supposing they are things of great purchase, 
when in many cases they are but matters of envy, peril, 
and impediment. So some measure things according to 
the labour and difficulty or assiduity which are spent about 
them ; and think, if they be ever moving, that they must 
needs advance and proceed ; as Caesar saith in a despising 
manner of Cato the second, when he describeth how 
laborious and indefatigable he was to no great purpose, 
Haec omnia magna studio agehat. So in most things men 

20 are ready to abuse themselves in thinking the greatest 
means to be best, when it should be the fittest. 

As for the true marshalling of men's pursuits towards 
their fortune, as they are more or less material, I hold them 
to stand thus. First the amendment of their own minds. 
For the remove of the impediments of the mind will sooner 
clear the passages of fortune, than the obtaining fortune 
will remove the impediments of the mind. In the second 
place I set down wealth and means ; which I know most 
men would have placed first, because of the general use 

30 which it beareth towards all variety of occasions. But that 
opinion I may condemn with like reason as Machiavel doth 
that other, that moneys were the sinews of the wars ; 
whereas (saith he) the true sinews of the wars are the sinews 


of men's arms, that is, a valiant, populous, and military 
nation : and he voucheth aptly the authority of Solon, who, 
when Croesus showed him his treasury of gold, said to him, 
that if another came that had better iron, he would be 
master of his gold. In like manner it may be truly affirmed, 
that it is not moneys that are the sinews of fortune, but it is 
the sinews and steel of men's minds, wit, courage, audacity, 
resolution, temper, industry, and the like. In the third 
place I set down reputation, because of the peremptory 
tides and currents it hath ; which, if they be not taken in 10 
their due time, are seldom recovered, it being extreme hard 
to play an after game of reputation. And lastly I place 
honour, which is more easily won by any of the other three, 
much more by all, than any of them can be purchased by 
honour. To conclude this precept, as there is order and 
priority in matter, so is there in time, the preposterous 
placing whereof is one of the commonest errors : while 
men fly to their ends when they should intend their begin- 
nings, and do not take things in order of time as they come 
on, but marshal them according to greatness and not 20 
according to instance ; not observing the good precept. 
Quod nunc instat agamus. 

The Prelude Ended 

Thus have I concluded this portion of learning touching 
civil knowledge ; and with civil knowledge have concluded 
human philosophy ; and with human philosophy, philo- 
sophy in general. And being now at some pause, looking 
back into that I have passed through, this writing seemeth 
to me (si nunquam falUt imago), as far as a man can judge 
of his own work, not much better than that noise or sound 
which musicians make while they are in tuning their in- 30 
struments : which is nothing pleasant to hear, but yet is 
a cause why the music is sweeter afterwards. So have I 
been content to tune the instruments of the Muses, that 

136 ADVANCEMENT 0¥ l^iiAKJNiiN vj 

they may play that have better hands. And surely, when 
I set before me the condition of these times, in which learn- 
ing hath made her third visitation or circuit in all the 
qualities thereof ; as the excellency and vivacity of the wits 
of this age ; the noble helps and lights which we have by the 
travails of ancient writers ; the art of printing, which 
communicateth books to men of all fortunes ; the openness 
of the world by navigation, which hath disclosed multi- 
tudes of experiments, and a mass of natural history ; the 

lo leisure wherewith these times abound, not employing men 
so generally in civil business, as the states of Grecia did, 
in respect of their popularity, and the state of Rome, in 
respect of the greatness of their monarchy ; the present 
disposition of these times at this instant to peace ; the 
consumption of all that ever can be said in controversies 
of religion, which have so much diverted men from other 
sciences ; the perfection of your Majesty's learning, which 
as a phoenix may call whole voUies of wits to follow you ; 
and the inseparable propriety of time, which is ever more 

20 and more to disclose truth ; I cannot but be raised to this 
persuasion that this third period of time will far surpass 
that of the Grecian and Roman learning : only if men will 
know their own strength, and their own weakness both ; 
and take, one from the other, light of invention, and not 
fire of contradiction ; and esteem of the inquisition of 
truth as of an enterprise, and not as of a quality or orna- 
ment ; and employ wit and magnificence to things of worth 
and excellency, and not to things vulgar and of popular 
estimation. As for my labours, if any man shall please 

30 himself or others in the reprehension of them, they shall 
make that ancient and patient request, Verbera, sed audi ; 
let men reprehend them, so they observe and weigh them. 
For the appeal is lawful (though it may be it shall not be 
needful) from the first cogitations of men to their second, 
and from the nearer times to the times further off. 



A Worke vn finished. 

Written by the Right Honourable, Francis 
Lord Vervlam, Vifcovnt S*. aAlban. 

Published, with Sylva Sylvarum, iSif 

The Strangers' House 

The Strangers' House is a fair and spacious house, built 
of brick, of somewhat a bluer colour than our brick ; and 
with handsome windows, some of glass, some of a kind of 
cambric oiled. He brought us first into a fair parlour above 
stairs, and then asked us, what number of persons we were ? 
and how many sick ? We answered, we were in all (sick 
and whole) one and fifty persons, whereof our sick were 
seventeen. He desired us to have patience a little, and to 


stay till he came back to us, which was about an hour after ; 
and then he led us to see the chambers which were provided 
for us, being in number nineteen. They having cast it (as 
it seemeth) that four of those chambers, which were better 
than the rest, might receive four of the principal men of our 
company ; and lodge them alone by themselves ; and the 
other fifteen chambers were to lodge us, two and two to- 
gether. The chambers were handsome and cheerful cham- 
bers, and furnished civilly. Then he led us to a long gallery, 

10 like a dorture, where he showed us all along the one side 
(for the other side was but wall and window) seventeen cells, 
very neat ones, having partitions of cedar wood. Which 
gallery and cells, being in all forty (many more than we 
needed), were instituted as an infirmary for sick persons. 
And he told us withal, that as any of our sick waxed well, 
he might be removed from his cell to a chamber : for which 
purpose there were set forth ten spare chambers, besides 
the number we spake of before. This done, he brought us 
back to the parlour, and lifting up his cane a little (as they 

20 do when they give any charge or command), said to us, ' Ye 
are to know that the custom of the land requireth, that 
after this day and to-morrow (which we give you for re- 
moving your people from your ship), you are to keep within 
doors for three days. But let it not trouble you, nor do not 
think yourselves restrained, but rather left to your ease and 
rest. You shall want nothing, and there are six of our 
people appointed to attend you for any business you may 
have abroad.' We gave him thanks with all affection and 
respect, and said, ' God surely is manifested in this land.' 

30 We offered him also twenty pistolets ; but he smiled, and 
only said : ' What ? twice paid ! ' And so he left us. 

Soon after our dinner was served in ; which was right 
good viands, both for bread and meat : better than any 
collegiate diet that I have known in Europe. We had also 
drink of three sorts, all wholesome and good ; wine of the 


grape ; a drink of grain, such as is with us our aie, but more 
clear ; and a kind of cider made of a fruit of that country ; 
a wonderful pleasing and refreshing drink. Besides, there 
were brought in to us great store of those scarlet oranges 
for our sick ; which (they said) were an assured remedy for 
sickness taken at sea. There was given us also a box of small 
grey or whitish pills, which they wished our sick should take, 
one of the pills every night before sleep ; which (they said) 
would hasten their recovery. 

The next day, after that our trouble of carriage and 10 
removing of our men and goods out of our ship was somewhat 
settled and quiet, I thought good to call our company to- 
gether, and when they were assembled, said unto them, 
' My dear friends, let us know ourselves, and how it standeth 
with us. We are men cast on land, as Jonas was out of the 
whale's belly, when we were as buried in the deep ; and now 
we are on land, we are but between death and life, for we 
are beyond both the Old World and the New ; and whether 
ever we shall see Europe, God only knoweth. It is a kind 
of miracle hath brought us hither, and it must be little less 20 
that shall bring us hence. Therefore in regard of our de- 
liverance past, and our danger present and to come, let us 
look up to God, and every man reform his own ways. 
Besides we are come here amongst a Christian people, full 
of piety and humanity : let us not bring that confusion 
of face upon ourselves, as to show our vices or unworthiness 
before them . Yet there is more, for they have by command- 
ment (though in form of courtesy) cloistered us within these 
walls for three days : who knoweth whether it be not to 
take some taste of our manners and conditions ? And if 3° 
they find them bad, to banish us straightways ; if good, to 
give us further time. For these men that they have given us 
for attendance, may withal have an eye upon us. Therefore, 
for God's love, and as we love the weal of our souls and 
bodies, let us so behave ourselves, as we may be at peace with 

140 JNiLW Ali-AJNllS 

God, and may find grace in the eyes of this people.' Our 
company with one voice thanked me for my good admoni- 
tion, and promised me to live soberly and civilly, and with- 
out giving any the least occasion of offence. So we spent 
our three days joyfully, and without care, in expectation 
what would be done with us when they were expired. 
During which time, we had every hour joy of the amend- 
ment of our sick, who thought themselves cast into some 
divine pool of healing, they mended so kindly and so fast. 

10 The morrow after our three days were past, there came 
to us a new man, that we had not seen before, clothed in 
blue as the former was, save that his turban was white 
with a small red cross on the top. He had also a tippet 
of fine linen. At his coming in, he did bend to us a little, 
and put his arms abroad. We of our parts saluted him in 
a very lowly and submissive manner ; as looking that from 
him we should receive sentence of life or death. He desired 
to speak with some few of us. Whereupon six of us only 
stayed, and the rest avoided the room. He said, ' I am by 

20 office Governor of this House of Strangers, and by vocation 
I am a Christian priest ; and therefore am come to you to 
offer you my service, both as strangers, and chiefly as 
Christians. Some things I may tell you, which I think 
you will not be unwilling to hear. The State hath given 
you licence to stay on land for the space of six weeks : and 
let it not trouble you, if your occasions ask further time, 
for the law in this point is not precise ; and I do not doubt 
but myself shall be able to obtain for you such further time 
as shall be convenient. Ye shall also understand, that the 

30 Strangers' House is at this time rich, and much aforehand ; 
for it hath laid up revenue these thirty-seven years : for 
so long it is since any stranger arrived in this part : and 
therefore take ye no care ; the State will defray you all the 
time you stay. Neither shall you stay one day the less for 
that. As for any merchandize ye have brought, ye shall be 


well used, and have your return, either in merchandize or 
in gold and silver : for to us it is all one. And if you have 
any other request to naake, hide it not ; for ye shall find 
we will not make your countenance to fall by the answer 
ye shall receive. Only this I must tell you, that none of 
you must go above a karan (that is with them a mile and 
a half) from the walls of the city, without especial leave.' 

We answered, after we had looked awhile one upon 
another, admiring this gracious and parent-like usage, that 
we could not tell what to say, for we wanted words to 10 
express our thanks ; and his noble free offers left us nothing 
to ask. It seemed to us, that we had before us a picture of 
our salvation in Heaven ; for we that were a while since in 
the jaws of death, were now brought into a place where we 
found nothing but consolations. For the commandment 
laid upon us, we would not fail to obey it, though it was 
impossible but our hearts should be inflamed to tread 
further upon this happy and holy ground. We added, that 
our tongues should first cleave to the roofs of our mouths, 
ere we should forget, either his reverend person, or this 20 
whole nation, in our prayers. We also most humbly besought 
him to accept of us as his true servants, by as just a right 
as ever men on earth were bounden ; laying and presenting 
both our persons and all we had at his feet. He said he was 
a priest, and looked for a priest's reward ; which was our 
brotherly love, and the good of our souls and bodies. So 
he went from us, not without tears of tenderness in his eyes, 
and left us also confused with joy and kindness, saying 
^amongst oiurselves that we were come into a land of angels, 
which did appear to us daily, and prevent us with 30 
comforts, which we thought not of, much less expected. 

The next day, about ten of the clock, the Governor came 
to us again, and after salutations, said familiarly, that he 
was come to visit us ; and called for a chair, and sat him 
down ; and we, being some ten of us (the rest were of the 


meaner sort, or else gone abroad), sat down with him ; and 
when we were set, he began thus : ' We of this island of 
Bensalem (for so they called it in their language) have this : 
that by means of our soUtary situation, and of the laws of 
secrecy, which we have for our travellers, and our rare 
admission of strangers, we know well most part of the 
habitable world, and are ourselves unknown. Therefore 
because he that knoweth least is fitted to ask questions, it 
is more reason, for the entertainment of the time, that ye 

lo ask me questions, than that I ask you.' 

We answered, that we humbly thanked him, that he 
would give us leave so to do : and that we conceived, by 
the taste we had already, that there was no worldly thing 
on earth more worthy to be known than the state of that 
happy land. But above all (we said) since that we were 
met from the several ends of the world, and hoped assuredly 
that we should meet one day in the kingdom of Heaven 
(for that we were both part Christians), we desired to know 
(in respect that land was so remote, and so divided by vast 

20 and unknown seas from the land where our Saviour walked 
on earth) who was the apostle of that nation, and how it 
was converted to the faith ? It appeared in his face, that 
he took great contentment in this our question ; he said, 
' Ye knit my heart to you, by asking this question in the 
first place : for it showeth that you first seek the kingdom 
of Heaven : and I shall gladly, and briefly, satisfy your 

' About twenty years after the Ascension of our Saviour 
it came to pass, that there was seen by the people of Renfusa 

30 (a city upon the eastern coast of our island), within night, 
(the night was cloudy and calm), as it might be some mile 
in the sea, a great pillar of light ; not sharp, but in form 
of a column, or cylinder, rising from the sea, a great way 
up towards Heaven ; and on the top of it was seen a large 
cross of light, more bright and resplendent than the body 


of the pillar. Upon which so strange a spectacle the people 
of the city gathered apace together upon the sands, to 
wonder ; and so after put themselves into a number of small 
boats to go nearer to this marvellous sight. But when the 
boats were come within about sixty yards of the pillar they 
found themselves all bound, and could go no further, yet 
so as they might move to go about, but might not approach 
nearer : so as the boats stood all as in a theatre, beholding 
this light, as an heavenly sign. It so fell out, that there was 
in one of the boats one of our wise men, of the Society of 10 
Salomon's House ; which house or college, my good brethren , 
is the very eye of this kingdom, who having awhile atten- 
tively and devoutly viewed and contemplated this pillar 
and cross, fell down upon his face ; and then raised himself 
upon his knees, and lifting up his hands to Heaven, made 
his prayers in this manner : 

Lord God of Heaven and Earth ; Thou hast vouch- 
safed of Thy grace, to those of our order, to know Thy works 
of creation, and the secrets of them ; and to discern (as far 
as appertaineth to the generations of men) between divine 20 
miracles, works of Nature, works of art, and impostures 
and illusions of all sorts. I do here acknowledge and testify 
before this people, that the thing which we now see before 
our eyes is Thy finger, and a true miracle. And forasmuch 
as we learn in our books that Thou never workest miracles, 
but to a divine and excellent end (for the laws of nature are 
Thine own laws, and thou exceedest them not but upon 
great cause), we most humbly beseech thee to prosper this 
great sign, and to give us the interpretation and use of it in 
mercy ; which Thou dost in some part secretly promise, by 3° 
sending it unto us." 

' When he had made his prayer, he presently found the 
boat he was in movable and unbound ; whereas all the rest 
remained still fast ; and taking that for an assurance of 
leave to approach, he caused the boat to be softly and with 


silence rowed towards the pillar. But ere he came near it, 
the pillar and cross of light broke up, and cast itself abroad, 
as it were, into a firmament of many stars, which also van- 
ished soon after, and there was nothing left to be seen but 
a small ark, or chest of cedar, dry, and not wet at all with 
water, though it swam. And in the fore-end of it, which was 
towards him, grew a small green branch of palm ; and when 
the wise man had taken it with all reverence into his boat, 
it opened of itself, and there were found in it a book and 

lo a letter, both written in fine parchment, and wrapped in 
sindons of linen. The book contained all the canonical 
books of the Old and New Testament, according as you 
have them (for we know well what the Churches with you 
receive), and the Apocalypse itself ; and some other books 
of the New Testament, which were not at that time written, 
were nevertheless in the book. And for the letter, it was 
in these words : 

' " I Bartholomew, a servant of the Highest, and apostle 
of Jesus Christ, was warned by an angel that appeared to 

^o me in a vision of glory, that I should commit this ark to the 
floods of the sea. Therefore I do testify and declare unto 
that people where God shall ordain this ark to come to 
land, that in the same day is come unto them salvation and 
peace, and goodwill, from the Father, and from the Lord 

' There was also in both these writings, as well the book 
as the letter, wrought a great miracle, conform to that cf 
the apostles, in the original gift of tongues. For there being 
at that time, in this land, Hebrews, Persians and Indians, 

30 besides the natives, every one read upon the book and 
letter, as if they had been written in his own language. 
And thus was this land saved from infidelity (as the 
remain of the Old World was from water) by an ark, through 
the apostolical and miraculous evangelism of St. Bartholo- 
mew.' And here he paused, and a messenger came, and 


called him forth from us. So this was all that passed in that 

The next day, the same Governor came again to us, 
immediately after dinner, and excused himself, saying, that 
the day before he was called from us somewhat abruptly, 
but now he would make us amends, and spend time with 
us, if we held his company and conference agreeable. 
We answered, that we held it so agreeable and pleasing to 
us, as we forgot both dangers past, and fears to come, for 
the time we heard him speak ; and that we thought an 10 
hour spent with him was worth years of our former life. 
He bowed himself a little to us, and after we were set again, 
he said, ' Well, the questions are on your part.' 

One of our number said, after a little pause, that there 
was a matter we were no less desirous to know than fearful 
to ask, lest we might presume too far. But encouraged by 
his rare humanity towards us (that could scarce think our- 
selves strangers, being his vowed and professed servants), 
we woiJd take the hardiness to propound it : humbly be- 
seeching him, if he thought it not fit to be answered, that 20 
he would pardon it, though he rejected it. We said, we well 
observed those his words, which he formerly spake, that this 
happy island, where we now stood, was known to few, and 
yet knew most of the nations of the world, which we found 
to be true, considering they had the languages of Europe, 
and knew much of our state and business ; and yet we in 
Europe (notwithstanding all the remote discoveries and 
navigations of this last age) never heard any of the least 
inkling or glimpse of this island. This we found wonderful 
strange ; for that all nations have interknowledge one of 30 
another, either by voyage into foreign parts, or by strangers 
that come to them ; and though the traveller into a foreign 
country doth commonly know more by the eye than he that 
stayeth at home can by relation of the traveller ; yet both 
ways suffice to make a mutual knowledge, in some degree, 

2179-16 L 


on both parts. But for this island, we never heard tell of 
any ship of theirs that had been seen to arrive upon any 
shore of Europe ; no, nor of either the East or West Indies, 
nor yet of any ship of any other part of the world, that had 
made return from them. And yet the marvel rested not in 
this ; for the situation of it (as his lordship said) in the 
secret conclave of such a vast sea mought cause it. But 
then, that they should have knowledge of the languages, 
books, affairs, of those that lie such a distance from them, 

10 it was a thing we could not tell what to make of ; for that 
it seemed to us a condition and propriety of divine powers 
and beings, to be hidden and unseen to others, and yet to 
have others open, and as in a light to them. 

At this speech the Governor gave a gracious smile and 
said, that we did weU to ask pardon for this question we 
now asked, for that it imported, as if we thought this land 
a land of magicians, that sent forth spirits of the air into all 
parts, to bring them news and intelligence of other countries. 
It was answered by us all, in all possible humbleness, but 

20 yet with a countenance taking knowledge, that we knew he 
spake it but merrily ; that we were apt enough to think 
there was somewhat supernatural in this island, but yet 
rather as angelical than magical. But to let his lordship 
know truly what it was that made us tender and doubtful 
to ask this question, it was not any such conceit, but because 
we remembered he had given a touch in his former speech 
that this land had laws of secrecy touching strangers. To 
this he said, ' You remember it aright ; and therefore in 
that I shall say to you, I must reserve some particulars, 

30 which it is not lawful for me to reveal, but there will be 
enough left to give you satisfaction. 

' You shall understand (that which perhaps you will 
scarce think credible) that about three thousand years ago, 
or somewhat more, the navigation of the world (especially 
for remote voyages) was greater than at this day. Do not 


think with yourselves, that I know not how much it is 
increased with you, within these six-score years ; I know 
it well, and yet I say, greater then than now ; whether it 
was, that the example of the Ark, that saved the remnant 
of men from the universal deluge, gave men confidence to 
adventure upon the waters, or what it was ; but such is the 
truth. The Phoenicians, and specially the Tyrians, had 
great fleets ; so had the Carthaginians their colony, which 
is yet fiulher west. Toward the east the shipping of Egypt, 
and of Palestine, was likewise great. China also, and the 10 
great Atlantis (that you call America), which have now but 
junks and canoas, abounded then in taU ships. This island 
(as appeareth by faithful registers of those times) had then 
fifteen hundred strong ships, of great content. Of all this 
there is with you sparing memory, or none ; but we have 
large knowledge thereof. 

' At that time, this land was known and frequented by 
the ships and vessels of all the nations before named. And 
(as it cometh to pass) they had many times men of other 
countries, that were no sailors, that came with them ; as 20 
Persians, Chaldeans, Arabians, so as almost all nations of 
might and fame resorted hither ; of whom we have some 
stirps and little tribes with us at this day. And for our own 
ships, they went sundry voyages, as well to your straits, 
which you call the Pillars of Hercules, as to other parts in 
the Atlantic and Mediterranean Seas ; as to Paguin (which 
is the same with Cambaline) and Quinzy, upon the Oriental 
Seas, as far as to the borders of the East Tartary. 

' At the same time, and an age after or more, the inhabi- 
tants of the great Atlantis did flourish. For though the 30 
narration and description which is made by a great man 
with you, that the descendants of Neptune planted there, 
and of the magnificent temple, palace, city, and hill; 
and the manifold streams of goodly navigable rivers 
(which as so many chains environed the same site and 


temple) ; and the several degrees of ascent, whereby men 
did climb up to the same, as if it had been a Scala Caeli ; be 
all poetical and fabulous ; yet so much is true, that the said 
country of Atlantis, as well that of Peru, then called Coya, 
as that of Mexico, then named Tyrambel, were mighty and 
proud kingdoms, in arms, shipping, and riches : so mighty 
as at one time (or at least within the space of ten years), 
they both made two great expeditions ; they of Tyrambel 
through the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea ; and they 

lo of Coya, through the South Sea upon this our island ; and 
for the former of these, which was into Europe, the same 
author amongst you (as it seemeth) had some relation from 
the Egyptian priest, whom he citeth. For assuredly such 
a thing there was. But whether it were the ancient Athen- 
ians that had the glory of the repulse and resistance of those 
forces, I can say nothing ; but certain it is there never came 
back either ship or man from that voyage. Neither had the 
other voyage of those of Coya upon us had better fortune, 
if they had not met with enemies of greater clemency. For 

20 the king of this island, by name Altabin, a wise man and 
a great warrior, knowing well both his own strength and 
that of his enemies, handled the matter so, as he cut off their 
land forces from their ships, and entoiled both their navy 
and their camp with a greater power than theirs, both by 
sea and land, and compelled them to render themselves 
without striking stroke ; and after they were at his mercy, 
contenting himself only with their oath, that they should 
no more bear arms against him, dismissed them all in safety. 
But the divine revenge overtook not lOng after those 

30 proud enterprises. For within less than the space of one 
hundred years the great Atlantis was utterly lost and de- 
stroyed ; not by a great earthquake, as your man saith (for 
that whole tract is little subject to earthquakes), but by 
a particular deluge or inundation, those countries having 
at this day far greater rivers and far higher mountains to 


pour down waters, than any part of the Old World. But it 
is true that the same inundation was not deep, not past 
forty foot in most places from the ground, so that although 
it destroyed man and beast generally, yet some few wild 
inhabitants of the wood escaped. Birds also were saved by 
flying to the high trees and woods. For as for men, although 
they had buildings in many places higher than the depth of 
the water, yet that inundation, though it were shallow, had 
a long continuance, whereby they of the vale that were not 
drowned perished for want of food, and other things 10 

' So as marvel you not at the thin population of America, 
nor at the rudeness and ignorance of the people ; for you 
must account your inhabitants of America as a young people, 
younger a thousand years at the least than the rest of the 
world, for that there was so much time between the universal 
flood and their particular inundation. For the poor remnant 
of human seed which remained in their mountains peopled 
the country again slowly, by little and little, and being 
simple and savage people (not like Noah and his sons, which 20 
was the chief family of the earth) they were not able to leave 
letters, arts, and civility to their posterity ; and having 
Ukewise in their mountainous habitations been used (in 
respect of the extreme cold of those regions) to clothe them- 
selves with the skins of tigers, bears and great hairy goats, 
that they have in those parts ; when after they came down 
into the valley, and found the intolerable heats which are 
there, and knew no means of lighter apparel, they were 
forced to begin the custom of going naked, which continueth 
at this day. Only they take great pride and delight in the 30 
feathers of birds, and this also they took from those their 
ancestors of the mountains, who were invited unto it, by 
the infinite flight of birds that came up to the high grounds, 
while the waters stood below. So you see, by this main 
accident of time, we lost our traf&c with the Americans, 


with whom of all others, in regard they lay nearest to us, 
we had most commerce. 

' As for the other parts of the world, it is most manifest 
that in the ages following (whether it were in respect of wars, 
or by a natural revolution of time) navigation did every- 
where greatly decay, and specially far voyages (the rather 
by the use of galleys, and such vessels as could hardly brook 
the ocean) were altogether left and omitted. So then, that 
part of intercourse which could be from other nations, to 

lo sail to us, you see how it hath long since ceased ; except it 
were by some rare accident, as this of yours. But now of 
the cessation of that other part of intercourse, which mought 
be by our sailing to other nations, I must yield you some 
other cause. For I cannot say, if I shall say truly, but our 
shipping, for number, strength, mariners, pilots, and all 
things that appertain to navigation, is as great as ever ; and 
therefore why we should sit at home, I shall now give you 
an account by itself ; and it will draw nearer, to give you 
satisfaction, to your principal question. 

20 ' There reigned in this island, about 1,900 years ago, a king, 
whose memory of all others we most adore ; not supersti- 
tiously, but as a divine instrument, though a mortal man : 
his name was Solamona ; and we esteem him as the law- 
giver of our nation. This king had a large heart, inscrutable 
for good, and was wholly bent to make his kingdom and 
people happy. He therefore taking into consideration how 
sufficient and substantive this land was, to maintain itself 
without any aid at all of the foreigner ; being 5,600 miles in 
circuit, and of rare fertility of soil, in the greatest part 

30 thereof ; and finding also the shipping of this country 
mought be plentifully set on work, both by fishing and by 
transportations from port to port, and likewise by sailing 
unto some small islands that are not far from us, and are 
under the crown and laws of this State ; and recalling into 
his memory the happy and flourishing estate wherein this 


land then was, so as it mought be a thousand ways altered 
to the worse, but scarce any one way to the better ; though 
nothing wanted to his noble and heroical intentions, but 
only (as far as human foresight mought reach) to give per- 
petuity to that which was in his time so happily established. 
Therefore amongst his other fundamental laws of this king- 
dom he did ordain the interdicts and prohibitions which we 
have touching entrance of strangers ; which at that time 
(though it was after the calamity of America) was frequent ; 
doubting novelties and commixture of manners. It is true, 10 
the like law against the admission of strangers without 
licence is an ancient law in the kingdom of China, and yet 
continued in use. But there it is a poor thing ; and hath 
made them a curious, ignorant, fearful, foolish nation. But 
our lawgiver made his law of another temper. For first, he 
hath preserved aU points of humanity, in taking order and 
making provision for the relief of strangers distressed ; 
whereof you have tasted.' 

At which speech (as reason was) we all rose up, and bowed 
ourselves. He went on : 20 

' That king also still desiring to join humanity and policy 
together ; and thinking it against humanity, to detain 
strangers here against their wills ; and against policy, that 
they should return, and discover their knowledge of this 
estate, he took this course : he did ordain, that of the 
strangers that should be permitted to land, as many (at all 
times) mought depart as would ; but as many as would stay, 
should have very good conditions, and means to live from 
the State. Wherein he saw so far, that now in so many ages 
since the prohibition, we have memory not of one ship that 30 
ever returned, and but of thirteen persons only, at several 
times, that chose to return in our bottoms. What those few 
that returned may have reported abroad I know not. But 
you must think, whatsoever they have said, could be taken 
where they came but for a dream. Now for our travelling 


from hence into parts abroad, our lawgiver thought fit 
altogether to restrain it. So is it not in China. For the 
Chineses sail where they will, or can ; which showeth, that 
their law of keeping out strangers is a law of pusillanimity 
and fear. But this restraint of ours hath one only exception, 
which is admirable ; preserving the good which cometh by 
communicating with strangers, and avoiding the hurt : and 
I will now open it to you. And here I shall seem a little to 
digress, but you will by and by find it pertinent. 

lo ' Ye shall understand, my dear friends, that amongst 
the excellent acts of that king, one above all hath the pre- 
eminence. It was the erection and institution of an order, 
or society, which we call Salomon's House ; the noblest 
foundation, as we think, that ever was upon the earth, and 
the lantern of this kingdom. It is dedicated to the study 
of the works and creatures of God. Some think it beareth 
the founder's name a little corrupted, as if it should be 
Solamona's House. But the records write it as it is spoken. 
So as I take it to be denominate of the king of the Hebrews, 

20 which is famous with you, and no stranger to us ; for we 
have some parts of his works which with you are lost ; 
namely, that Natural History which he wrote of all plants, 
from the cedar of Libanus to the moss that groweth out of 
the wall ; and of all things that have life and motion. This 
maketh me think that our king finding himself to symbolize, 
in many things, with that king of the Hebrews (which lived 
many years before him) honoured him with the title of this 
foundation. And I am the rather induced to be of this 
opinion, for that I find in ancient records, this order or 

30 society is sometimes called Salomon's House, and some- 
times the College of the Six Days' Works ; whereby I am 
satisfied that our excellent king had learned from the 
Hebrews that God had created the world, and all that 
therein is, within six days : and therefore he instituting 
that house, for the finding out of the true nature of all things 


(whereby God mought have the more glory in the work- 
manship of them, and men the more fruit in the use of them) , 
did give it also that second name. 

' But now to come to our present purpose. When the king 
had forbidden to all his people navigation into any part 
that was not under his crown, he made nevertheless this 
ordinance : that every twelve years there should be set 
forth out of this kingdom two ships, appointed to several 
voyages ; that in either of these ships there should be a 
mission of three of the fellows or brethren of Salomon's 10 
House, whose errand was only to give us knowledge of the 
affairs and state of those countries to which they were 
designed ; and especially of the sciences, arts, manufac- 
tures, and inventions of all the world ; and withal to bring 
unto us books, instruments, and patterns of every kind : 
that the ships, after they had landed the brethren, should 
return ; and that the brethren should stay abroad till the 
new mission. These ships are not otherwise fraught than with 
store of victuals, and good quantity of treasure to remain 
with the brethren, for the buying of such things, and reward- 20 
ing of such persons, as they should think fit. Now for me 
to tell you how the vulgar sort of mariners are contained 
from being discovered at land, and how they that must 
be put on shore for any time, colour themselves under the 
names of other nations, and to what places these voyages 
have been designed, and what places of rendezvous are 
appointed for the new missions, and the like circumstances 
of the practice, I may not do it, neither is it much to your 
desire. But thus you see we maintain a trade, not for gold, 
silver, or jewels, nor for silks, nor for spices, nor any other 3° 
commodity of matter ; but only for God's first creature, 
which was light : to have light, I say, of the growth of all 
parts of the world.' 


Salomon's House 

' I WILL impart unto thee, for the love of God and men, 
a relation of the true state of Salomon's House. Son, to 
make you know the true state of Salomon's House, I will 
keep this order. First, I will set forth unto you the end 
of our foundation. Secondly, the preparations and instru- 
ments we have for our works. Thirdly, the several employ- 
ments and functions whereto our fellows are assigned. And 
fourthly, the ordinances and rites which we observe. 
' The end of our foundation is the knowledge of causes, and 

lo secret motions of things ; and the enlarging of the boimds 
of human empire, to the effecting of all things possible. 

' The preparations and instruments are these. We have 
large and deep caves of several depths : the deepest are 
sunk six hundred fathoms ; and some of them are digged 
and made under great hills and mountains ; so that if you 
reckon together the depth of the hill, and the depths of the 
cave, they are, some of them, above three miles deep. For 
we find that the depth of a hill, and the depth of a cave 
from the flat, is the same thing ; both remote alike from 

20 the sun and heaven's beams, and from the open air. These 
caves we call the lower region, and we use them for all coagu- 
lations, indurations, refrigerations, and conservations of 
bodies. We use them likewise for the imitation of natural 
mines, and the producing also of new artificial metals, by 
compositions and materials which we use, and lay there for 
many years. We use them also sometimes (which may seem 
strange) for curing of some diseases, and for prolongation 
of life, in some hermits that choose to live there, well ac- 
commodated of all things necessary, and indeed live very 

30 long ; by whom also we learn many things. 

' We have burials in several earths, where we put divers 
cements, as the Chineses do their porcelain. But we have 
them in greater variety, and some of them more fine. We 


also have great variety of composts and soils, for the making 
of the earth fruitful. 

' We have high towers, the highest about half a mile in 
height, and some of them likewise set upon high mountains, 
so that the vantage of the hill, with the tower, is in the 
highest of them three miles at least. And these places we 
call the upper region, accounting the air between the high 
places and the low as a middle region. We use these towers, 
according to their several heights and situations, for insola- 
tion, refrigeration, conservation, and for the view of divers 10 
meteors — as winds, rain, snow, hail ; and some of the fiery 
meteors also. And upon them, in some places, are dwellings 
of hermits, whom we visit sometimes, and instruct what 
to observe. 

' We have great lakes, both salt and fresh, whereof we 
have use for the fish and fowl. We use them also for burials 
of some natural bodies, for we find a difference in things 
buried in earth, or in air below the earth, and things buried 
in water. We have also pools, of which some do strain fresh 
water out of salt, and others by art do turn fresh water into 20 
salt. We have also some rocks in the midst of the sea, and 
some bays upon the shore for some works, wherein is 
required the air and vapour of the sea. We have likewise 
violent streams and cataracts, which serve us for many 
motions ; and likewise engines for multiplying and enforcing 
of winds to set also on going divers motions. 

' We have also a nrunber of artificial wells and fountains, 
made in imitation of the natural sources and baths, as 
tincted upon vitriol, sulphur, steel, brass, lead, nitre, and 
other minerals ; and again, we have little wells for infusions 3° 
of many things, where the waters take the virtue quicker 
and better than in vessels or basins. And amongst them 
we have a water, which we call Water of Paradise, being 
by that we do to it made very sovereign for health and 
prolongation of life. 


' We have also great and spacious houses, where we 
imitate and demonstrate meteors — as snow, hail, rain, 
some artificial rains of bodies, and not of water, thunders, 
lightnings ; also generations of bodies in air — as frogs, flies, 
and divers others. 

' We have also certain chambers, which we call chambers 
of health, where we qualify the air as we think good and 
proper for the cure of divers diseases, and preservation of 

10 ' We have also fair and large baths, of several mixtures, 
for the cure of diseases, and the restoring of man's body 
from arefaction ; and others for the confirming of it in 
strength of sinews, vital parts, and the very juice and 
substance of the body. 

We have also large and various orchards and gardens, 
wherein we do not so much respect beauty as variety of 
ground and soil, proper for divers trees and herbs, and 
some very spacious, where trees and berries are set, whereof 
we make divers kinds of drinks, besides the vineyards. In 

20 these we practise likewise all conclusions of grafting and 
inoculating, as well of wild-trees as fruit-trees, which pro- 
duceth many effects. And we make by art, in the same 
orchards and gardens, trees and flowers, to come earlier or 
later than their seasons, and to come up and bear more 
speedily than by their natural course they do. We make 
them also by art greater much than their nature ; and their 
fruit greater and sweeter, and of differing taste, smell, 
colour, and figure, from their nature. And many of them 
we so order as they become of medicinal use. 

30 ' We have also means to make divers plants rise by 
mixtures of earths without seeds, and likewise to make 
divers new plants, differing from the vulgar, and to make 
one tree or plant turn into another. 

' We have also parks, and enclosures of all sorts, of beasts 
and birds ; which we use not only for view or rareness, but 


likewise for dissections and. trials, that thereby we may 
take light what may be wrought upon the body of man. 
Wherein we find many strange effects : as continuing life 
in them, though divers parts, which 5TOU account vital, be 
perished and taken forth ; resuscitating of some that seem 
dead in appearance, and the like. We try also all poisons, 
and other medicines upon them, as well of chirurgery as 
physic. By art likewise we make them greater or taller 
than their kind is, and contrariwise dwarf them and stay 
their growth ; we make them more fruitful and bearing 10 
than their kind is, and contrariwise barren and not genera- 
tive. . . . 

' We have also engine-houses, where are prepared engines 
and instruments for all sorts of motions. There we imitate 
and practise to make swifter motions than any you have, 
either out of your muskets or any engine that you have ; 
and to make them and multiply them more easily and with 
small force, by wheels and other means, and to make them 
stronger and more violent than yours are, exceeding your 
greatest cannons and basilisks. We represent also ordnance 20 
and instruments of war and engines of all kinds ; and like- 
wise new mixtures and compositions of gunpowder, wild- 
fires burning in water and unquenchable, also fire-works 
of all variety, both for pleasure and use. We imitate also 
flights of birds ; we have some degrees of flying in the air. 
We have ships and boats for going under water and brooking 
of seas, also swimming-girdles and supporters. We have 
divers curious clocks, and other like motions of return, and 
some perpetual motions. We imitate also motions of living 
creatures by images of men, beasts, birds, fishes, and ser- 30 
pents ; we have also a great number of other various 
motions, strange for equality, fineness, and subtilty. 

' We have also a mathematical-house, where are repre- 
sented all instruments, as well of geometry as astronomy, 
exquisitely made. 


' We have also houses of deceits of the senses, where we 
represent all manner of feats of juggling, false apparitions, 
impostures and. illusions, and their fallacies. And surely 
you will easily believe that we, that have so many things 
truly natural which induce admiration, could in a world of 
particulars deceive the senses if we would disguise those 
things, and labour to make them seem more miraculous. 
But we do hate all impostures and lies, insomuch as we 
have severely forbidden it to all our fellows, under pain of 
lo ignominy and fines, that they do not show any natural 
work or thing adorned or swelling, but only pure as it is, and 
without all affectation of strangeness. 

' These are, my son, the riches of Salomon's House. 

' For the several employments and offices of our fellows, 
we have twelve that sail into foreign countries under the 
names of other nations (for our own we conceal), who bring 
us the books and abstracts, and patterns of experiments of 
all other parts. These we call Merchants of Light. 

' We have three that collect the experiments which are 
20 in all books. These we call Depredators. 

' We have three that collect the experiments of all 
mechanical arts, and also of liberal sciences, and also of 
practices which are not brought into arts. These we call 

' We have three that try new experiments, such as them- 
selves think good. These we call Pioneers or Miners. 

' We have three that draw the experiments of the former 
four into titles and tables, to give the better light for the 
drawing of observations and axioms out of them. These 
30 we call Compilers. 

' We have three that bend themselves, looking into the 
experiments of their fellows, and cast about how to draw 
out of them things of use and practice for man's life and 
knowledge, as well for works as for plain demonstration of 
causes, means of natural divinations, and the easy and clear 


discovery of the virtues and parts of bodies. These we call 
dowry-men or Benefactors. 

' Then after divers meetings and consults of our whole 
number, to consider of the former labours and collections, 
we have three that take care out of them to direct new 
experiments, of a higher light, more penetrating into Nature 
than the former. These we call Lamps. 

' We have three others that do execute the experi- 
ments so directed, and report them. These we call 

' Lastly, we have three that raise the former discoveries by 
experiments into greater observations, axioms, and aphor- 
isms. These we call Interpreters of Nature. 

' We have also, as you must think, novices and appren- 
tices, that the succession of the former employed men do 
not fail ; besides a great number of servants and attend- 
ants, men and women. And this we do also : we have 
consultations which of the inventions and experiences 
which we have discovered shall be published, and which 
not : and take all an oath of secrecy for the concealing of 20 
those which we think fit to keep secret : though some of 
those we do reveal sometimes to the State, and some not. 

' For our ordinances and rites, we have two very long 
and fair galleries : in one of these we place patterns and 
samples of all manner of the more rare and excellent inven- 
tions : in the other we place the statuas of all principal 
inventors. There we have the statua of your Columbus, 
that discovered the West Indies : also the inventor of ships : 
your Monk that was the inventor of ordnance and of gun- 
powder : the inventor of music : the inventor of letters : 30 
the inventor of printing : the inventor of observations of 
astronomy : the inventor of works in metal : the inventor 
of glass : the inventor of silk of the worm : the inventor 
of wine : the inventor of com and bread : the inventor 
of sugars : and all these by more certain tradition than 


you have. Then we have divers inventors of our own, of 
excellent works, which since you have not seen, it were too 
long to make descriptions of them ; and besides in the 
right understanding of those descriptions you might easily 
err. For upon every invention of value we erect a statua 
to the inventor, and give him a liberal and honourable 
reward. These statuas are some of brass, some of marble 
and touchstone, some of cedar and other special woods gilt 
and adorned ; some of iron, some of silver, some of gold. 

lo ' We have certain h}niins and services, which we say 
daily, of laud and thanks to God for his marvellous works. 
And forms of prayer, imploring His aid and blessing for 
the illumination of our labours, and the turning of them 
into good and holy uses. 

' Lastly, we have circuits or visits, of divers principal 
cities of the kingdom ; where, as it cometh to pass, we do 
publish such new profitable inventions as we think good. 
And we do also declare natural divinations of diseases, 
plagues, swarms of hurtful creatures, scarcity, tempests, 

20 earthquakes, great inundations, comets, temjjerature of the 
year, and divers other things ; and we give counsel there- 
upon, what the people shall do for the prevention and 
remedy of them.' 

And when he had said this he stood up ; and I, as I had 
been taught, knelt down ; and he laid his right hand upon 
my head, and siid, ' God bless thee, my son, and God bless 
this relation which I have made. I give thee leave to publish 
it, for the good of other nations ; for we here are in God's 
bosom, a land unknown.' And so he left me ; having 

30 assigned a value of about two thousand ducats for a bounty 
to me and my fellows. For they give great largesses, where 
they come, upon all occasions. 

The rest was not perfected 

Character of King Henry VII 

This King (to speak of him in terms equal to his deserving) 
was one of the best sort of wonders ; a wonder for wise men. 
He had parts (both in his virtues and his fortune) not so fit 
for a common -place as for observation. Certainly he was 
religious both in his affection and observance. But as he 
could see clear (for those times) through superstition ; so 
he would be blinded now and then by human policy. He 
advanced churchmen. He was tender in the privilege of 
sanctuaries, though they wrought him much mischief. He 

lo built and endowed many rehgious foundations, besides his 
memorable hospital of the Savoy : and yet was he a great 
alms-giver in secret ; which shewed that his works in public 
were dedicated rather to God's glory than his own. He 
professed always to love and seek peace ; and it was his 
usual preface in his treaties, that when Christ came into 
the world peace was sung, and when he went out of the 
world peace was bequeathed. And this virtue could not 
proceed out of fear or softness, for he was valiant and active; 
and therefore no doubt it was truly Christian and moral. 

20 Yet he knew the way to peace was not to seem to be 
desirous to avoid wars. Therefore would he make offers 
and fames of wars, till he had mended the conditions of 
peace. It was also much, that one that was so great a lover 
of peace should be so happy in war. For his arms, either in 
foreign or civil wars, were never inf ortunate, neither did he 
know what a disaster meant. The war of his coming in, 
and the rebellions of the Earl of Lincoln and the Lord 
Audley, were ended by victory. The wars of France and 
Scotland by peaces sought at his hands. That of Brittaine 
30 by accident of the Duke's death. The insurrection of the 
Lord Lovell, and that of Perkin at Exeter and in Kent, by 
flight of the rebels before they came to blows. So that his 
fortune of arms was still inviolate. The rather sure, for 


that in the quenching of the commotions of his subjects he 
ever went in person : sometimes reserving himself to back 
and second his heutenants, but ever in action. And yet that 
was not merely forwardness, but partly distrust of others. 
He did much maintain and countenance his laws ; 
which (nevertheless) was no impediment to him to work his 
will. For it was so handled that neither prerogative nor 
profit went to diminution. And yet as he would some- 
times strain up his laws to his prerogative, so would he also 
let down his prerogative to his Parliament. For mint and 10 
wars and martial discipline (things of absolute power) he 
would nevertheless bring to Parliament. Justice was well 
administered in his time, save where the King was party ; 
save also that the counsel-table interfered too much with 
meum and tuum. For it was a very court of justice during 
his time, especially in the beginning. But in that part both 
of justice and poUcy which is the durable part, and cut as 
it were in brass or marble, which is the making of good 
laws, he did excel. And with his justice he was also a 
merciful prince : as in whose time there were but three of 2c 
the nobility that suffered ; the Earl of Warwick, the Lord 
Chamberlain, and the Lord Audley, though the first two 
were instead of numbers in the dislike and obloquy of the 
people. But there were never so great rebellions expiated 
with so little blood drawn by the hand of justice, as the two 
rebellions of Blackheath and Exeter. As for the severity 
used upon those which were taken in Kent, it was but a scum 
of people. His pardons went ever both before and after his 
sword. But then he had withal a strange kind of inter- 
changing of large and inexpected pardons with severe 3^ 
executions : which, his wisdom considered, could not be 
imputed to any inconstancy or inequality, but either to 
some reason which we do not now know, or to a principle 
he had set unto himself, that he would vary, and try 
both ways in turn. But the less blood he drew the more he 

M 2 


took of treasure : and as some construed it, he was the 
more sparing in the one that he might be the more pressing 
in the other ; for both would have been intolerable. Of 
nature assuredly he coveted to accumulate treasure, and 
was a little poor in admiring riches. The people (into whom 
there is infused for the preservation of monarchies a natural 
desire to discharge their princes, though it be with the 
unjust charge of their counsellors and ministers) did impute 
this unto Cardinal Morton and Sir Reginald Bray, who as 

lo it after appeared (as counsellors of ancient authority with 
him) did so second his humours, as nevertheless they did 
temper them. Whereas Empson and Dudley that followed, 
being persons that had no reputation with him otherwise 
than by the servile following of his bent, did not give way 
only (as the first did) but shape him way to those ex- 
tremities for which himself was touched with remorse at his 
death ; and which his successor renounced, and sought to 
purge. This excess of his had at that time many glosses 
and interpretations. Some thought the continual rebellions 

20 wherewith he had been vexed had made him grow to hate 
his people : some thought it was done to pull down their 
stomachs and keep them low : some, for that he would leave 
his son a golden fleece, some suspected he had some 
high design upon foreign parts. But those perhaps shall 
come nearest the truth that fetch not their reasons so far off, 
but rather impute it to nature, age, peace and a mind fixed 
upon no other ambition or pursuit : whereunto I should 
add, that having every day occasion to take notice of the 
necessities and shifts for money of other great Princes 

30 abroad, it did the better by comparison set off to him the 
felicity of full coffers. As to his expending of treasure, he 
never spared charge which his affairs required : and in 
his buildings was magnificent, but his rewards were very 
Hmited. So that his liberality was rather upon his own 
state and memory than upon the deserts of others. He 


was of an high mind, and loved his own will and his own 
way ; as one that revered himself and would reign indeed. 
Had he been a private man he would have been termed 
proud : but in a wise Prince, it was but keeping of distance ; 
which indeed he did towards all ; not admitting any near 
or full approach either to his power or to his secrets. For 
he was governed by none. His Queen (notwithstanding 
she had presented him with divers children ; and with a 
crown also, though he would not acknowledge it) could do 
nothing with him. His mother he reverenced much, heard 10 
little. For any person agreeable to him for society (such 
as was Hastings to King Edward the Fourth, or Charles 
Brandon after to King Henry the Eighth), he had none ; 
except we should account for such persons Foxe and Bray 
and Empson, because they were so much with him. But 
it was but as the instrument is much with the workman. 
He had nothing in him of vain-glory, but yet kept state 
and majesty to the height ; being sensible that majesty 
maketh the people bow, but vain-glory boweth to them. 

To his confederates abroad he was constant and just ; 20 
but not open. But rather such was his inquiry and such 
his closeness, as they stood in the light towards him, and he 
stood in the dark to them ; yet without strangeness, but 
with a semblance of mutual communication of affairs. As 
for little envies or emulations upon foreign princes (which 
are frequent with many kings), he had never any ; but 
went substantially to his own business. Certain it is that 
though his reputation was great at home, yet it was 
greater abroad. For foreigners that could not see the 
passages of affairs, but made their judgments upon the 30 
issues of them, noted that he was ever in strife and ever 
aloft. It grew also from the airs which the princes and 
states abroad received from their ambassadors and agents 
here, which were attending the court in great number, 
whom he did not only content with courtesy, reward and 


privateness, but (upon such conferences as passed with 
them) put them in admiration to find his universal insight 
into the affairs of the world, which though he did such chiefly 
from themselves, yet that which he had gathered from 
them all seemed admirable to every one. So that they did 
write ever to their superiors in high terms concerning his 
wisdom and art of rule. Nay when they were returned, 
they did commonly maintain intelligence with him, such 
a dexterity he had to impropriate to himself all foreign 

lo instruments. 

He was careful and liberal to obtain good intelligence 
from all parts abroad, wherein he did not only use his 
interest in the liegers here, and his pensioners which he had 
both in the court of Rome and other the Courts of Christen- 
dom, but the industry and vigilancy of his own ambassadors 
in foreign parts. For which purpose his instructions were 
ever extreme curious and articulate, and in them more 
articles touching inquisition than touching negotiation : 
requiring likewise from his ambassadors an answer, in 

20 particular distinct articles, respectively to his questions. 
As for his secret spials which he did employ both at home 
and abroad, by them to discover what parties and con- 
spiracies were against him, surely his case required it, he had 
such moles perpetually working and casting to undermine 
him. Neither can it be reprehended, for if spials be lawful 
against lawful enemies, much more against conspirators 
and traitors. But indeed to give them credence by oaths 
or curses, that cannot be well maintained, for those are too 
holy vestments for a disguise. Yet surely there was this 

30 further good in his employing of these flies and familiars ; 
that as the use of them was cause that many conspiracies 
were revealed, so the fame and suspicion of them kept (no 
doubt) many conspiracies from being attempted. 

Towards his Queen he was nothing uxorious ; nor 
scarce indulgent; but companiable and respective, and 


without jealousy. Towards his children he was full of 
paternal affection, careful of their education, aspiring to 
their high advancement, regular to see that they should 
not want of any due honour and respect, but not greatly 
willing to cast any popular lustre upon them. 

To his counsel he did refer much, and sat oft in person ; 
knowing it to be the way to assist his power and inform his 
judgment, in which respect also he was fairly patient of 
liberty both of advice and of vote, till himself were declared. 

He kept a strait hand on his nobility, and chose rather 10 
to advance clergymen and lawyers, which were more 
obsequious to him, but had less interest in the people; 
which made for his absoluteness but not for his safety. 
Insomuch as I am persuaded it was one of the causes of his 
troublesome reign. For that his nobles, though they were 
loyal and obedient, yet did not co-operate with him, but 
let every man go his own way. He was not afraid of an able 
man, as Lewis the Eleventh was. But contrariwise he was 
served by the ablest men that then were to be found ; 
without which his affairs could not have prospered as they 20 
did. For war, Bedford, Oxford, Surrey, Dawbeny, Brooke, 
Poynings. For other affairs, Morton, Foxe, Bray, the 
Prior of Lanthony, Warham, Urswick, Hussey, Frowick, 
and others. Neither did he care how cunning they were 
that he did employ : for he thought himself to have the 
master-reach. And as he chose well, so he held them up 
well. For it is a strange thing, that though he were a dark 
prince and infinitely suspicious, and his times full of secret 
conspiracies and troubles, yet in twenty-four years reign he 
never put down or discomposed counsellor or near servant, 3° 
save only Stanley the Lord Chamberlain. As for the 
disposition of his subjects in general towards him, it stood 
thus with him, that of the three affections which naturally 
tie the hearts of the subjects to their sovereign, — love, fear, 
and reverence, — he had the last in height, the second in 


good measure, and so little of the first as he was beholding 
to the other two. 

He was a Prince, sad, serious, and full of thoughts and 
secret observations, and full of notes and memorials of his 
own hand, especially touching persons ; as whom to employ, 
whom to reward, whom to inquire of, whom to beware of, 
what were the dependencies, what were the factions, and 
the like ; keeping (as it were) a journal of his thoughts. 
There is to this day a merry tale, that his monkey (set on 

lo as it was thought by one of his chamber) tore his principal 
note-book all to pieces, when by chance it lay forth. Where- 
at the court which liked not those pensive accounts was 
almost tickled with sport. 

He was indeed full of apprehensions and suspicions. 
But as he did easily take them, so he did easily check them 
and master them ; whereby they were not dangerous, but 
troubled himself more than others. It is true his thoughts 
were so many, as they could not well always stand together ; 
but that which did good one way did hurt another. Neither 

20 did he at some times weigh them aright in their proportions. 
Certainly that rumour which did him so much mischief (that 
the Duke of York should be saved and alive) was (at the 
first) of his own nourishing, because he would have more 
reason not to reign in the right of his wife. He was affable, 
and both well and fair spoken, and would use strange sweet- 
ness and blandishments of words, where he desired to effect 
or persuade anything that he took to heart. He was rather 
studious than learned, reading most books that were of any 
worth, in the French tongue. Yet he understood the Latin, 

30 as appeareth in that Cardinal Hadrian and others, who 
could very well have written French, did use to write to 
him in Latin. 

For his pleasures, there is no news of them. And yet by 
his instructions to Marsin and Stile touching the Queen 
of Naples, it seemeth he could interrogate well touching 


beauty. He did by pleasures as great Princes do by 
banquets, come and look a little upon them, and turn away.. 
For never Prince was more wholly given to his affairs, nor 
in them more of himself, insomuch as in triumphs of justs 
and tourneys and balls and masks (which they then called 
disguises) he was rather a princely and gentle spectator 
than seemed much to be delighted. 

No doubt, in him as in all men (and most of all in kings) 
his fortune wrought upon his nature, and his nature upon 
his fortime. He attained to the crown, not only from a 10 
private fortune, which might endow him with moderation, 
but also from the fortune of an exiled man, which had 
quickened in him aU seeds of observation and industry. 
And his times being rather prosperous than calm, had 
raised his confidence by success, but almost marred his 
nature by troubles. His wisdom, by often evading from 
perils, was turned rather into a dexterity to deliver him- 
self from dangers when they pressed him, than into a 
providence to prevent and remove them afar off. And 
even in nature, the sight of his mind was like some sights 20 
of eyes, rather strong at hand than to carry afar off. For 
his wit increased upon the occasion, and so much the more 
if the occasion were sharpened by danger. Again whether 
it were the shortness of his foresight or the strength of his 
will, or the dazzling of his suspicions, or what it was, 
certain it is that the perpetual troubles of his fortunes (there 
being no more matter out of which they grew) could not 
have been without some great defects and main errors in 
his nature, customs and proceedings, which he had enough 
to do to save and help with a thousand little industries and 30 
watches. But those do best appear in the story itself. 
Yet take him with all his defects, if a man should compare 
him with the kings his concurrents in France and Spain, he 
shall find him more politic than Lewis the Twelfth of France, 
and more entire and sincere than Ferdinando of Spain. 


But if you shall change Lewis the Twelfth for Lewis the 
Eleventh, who lived a little before, then the consort is 
more perfect. For that Lewis the Eleventh, Ferdinando, 
and Henry, may be esteemed for the tres magi of kings of 
those ages. To conclude, if this King did no greater matters, 
it was long of himself, for what he minded he compassed. 
He was a comely personage, a little above just stature, 
well and straight limbed, but slender. His countenance 
was reverend and a little like a churchman : and as it was 

lo not strange or dark, so neither was it winning or pleasing, 
but as the face of one well disposed. But it was to the 
disadvantage of the painter, for it was best when he spake. 
His worth may bear a tale or two, that may put upon him 
somewhat that may seem divine. When the Lady Margaret 
his mother had divers great suitors for marriage, she 
dreamed one night that one in the likeness of a bishop in 
pontifical habit did tender her Edmund Earl of Richmond 
(the King's father) for her husband. Neither had she ever 
any child but the king, though she had three husbands. 

20 One day when King Henry the Sixth (whose innocency 
gave him holiness) was washing his hands at a great feast, 
and cast his eye upon King Henry, then a young youth, he 
said : ' this is the lad that shall possess quietly that that we 
now strive for.' But that that was truly divine in him, was 
that he had the fortune of a true Christian as well as of 
a great king, in living exercised and d5dng repentant. So as 
he had an happy warfare in both conflicts, both of sin and 
the cross. 

He was born at Pembroke Castle, and lieth buried at 

30 Westminster, in one of the stateliest and daintiest monuments 
of Europe both for the chapel and for the sepulchre. So 
that he dwelleth more richly dead, in the monument of his 
tomb, than he did alive in Richmond or any of his palaces. 
I could wish he did the like in this monument of his fame. 


In the Praise of his Sovereign 
This Discourse was assigned by Spedding to the autumn of 
1 592 . It was probably written for the Court device contrived by 
the Earl of Essex for the Queen's day of that year. The extract 
is taken from the modernized version printed by Spedding. 
Page 38, 1. 12. extenuateth, weakens ; an obsolete use. 
Page 39, 1. 30. was conjured, had conspired. 


There were three authorized editions of the Essays — (i) 1597, 
containing ten essays, (2) 1612, containing thirty-eight, and 
(3) 1625, containing lifty-eight. The twenty-two essays in the 
present selection are taken from the last edition, but the 
spelling is modernized. 

Dedications. Bacon's elder brother, Anthony, to whom the 
first edition was dedicated, died in 1601. The second edition 
was to have been dedicated to Prince Henry, the Prince of 
Wales, who died when it was about to be published. It was 
dedicated instead to Sir John Constable, who in 1607 had 
married the sister of Bacon's wife, and, like Bacon, was 
a member of Gray's Inn. The actual copy of the third edition 
which Bacon presented to the Duke of Buckingham is preserved 
in the Bodleian Library. 

Page 42, 1. 6. to labour the stay of them, to prevent the pub- 
lication of this unauthorized edition. 

Page 43, 1. 20. rather significantly than curiously, with more 
thought of the meaning than the expression, of the matter 
than the manner. But each new edition of the Essays showed 
more attention to the cadence of the style. 

Essay I. Page46, 1. i. Pilate. See John xviii. 38. 

1. 4. sects of philosophers of that kind, i.e. the Sceptic school, 
founded by Pyrrho of Elis (350-300 B.C.). 

1. 12. One of the later school of the Grecians, Lucian of Samo- 
sata (fl. a.d. 160), who in his Philopseudes ( = ' lover of lies '), 
discusses this question. 

1. 18. masques, and mummeries, and triumphs. ' Masques ' 
were dramatic entertainments, produced mainly at Court, in 
which more attention was generally given to the elaborate 
staging and the dresses, and to the music, than to the dialogue. 
' Mummeries ' were at first, as the word implies, entertain- 
ments in dumb-show ; they were of a broader, more popular, 
cast than masques. ' Triumphs ' were grander spectacular 
shows or pageants, including ' ]usts and tourneys and barriers '. 

1. 22. lie, here used in its widest possible sense, to include 
anything not exactly true. 

1.28. One of the fathers. In using the phrase ot'otmw rfaemowwrn 

172 NOTES 

(' wine of devils ') Bacon probably confused two passages : 
daemonum cibus est poetarum carmina (' the food of devils 
is poetry ') Jerome, Epist. 146, and vinum erroris ah ebriis 
doctoribus propinatum {' the wine of error given by drunken 
teachers to their pupils ') Augustine, Confessions, i. i5. 

Page 47, 1. i. truth, which only doth judge itself. Truth, 
unlike reason, is infallible ; when we have once arrived at truth 
and believe in it, there is no more use for reason. 

1. 6. The first creature, &c. Cf. Genesis i. ' The light of the 
sense ' is the visible light, created on the first day ; ' the light 
of reason ' is the human mind, created on the sixth day ; 
God's ' sabbath work ' is guiding man's reason towards truth. 

1. 12. The poet that beautified the sect. The poet is Lucretius 
{95-51 B.C.), and the sect is that of the Epicureans, the 
followers of Epicurus (342-270 B.C.). 'Otherwise inferior' 
may either refer to the alleged immorality of their teaching 
or mean that Lucretius was the only famous man among 
them. The passage, which Bacon translates roughly, is in 
Lucretius's great poem De Rerum Natura, Book II. i— 10. 

1. 23. turn upon the poles of truth, i.e. so as to face all 
aspects of life, without deviating from truth. 

1. 26. truth of civil business, i.e. truthfulness in dealings 
between man and man. 

1. 35. Montaigne saith. The sentence is not Montaigne's 
own, but a quotation by him [Essays, ii. 18) from Plutarch 
(Life of Lysander, p. 307 b). This is Bacon's only mention of 
Montaigne in the Essays, and this essay was first published in 
1625. See p. X. 

Page 48, 1. 8. it being foretold. See Luke xviii. 8, where the 
words are not prophetic, but interrogative. Bacon both 
misquotes and misapplies them ; for ' faith ' was clearly not 
used there in the sense of ' good faith ' 

Essay II. Page48, 1. 13. the wages of sin. Romans vi. 23. 

1. 17. mortification. Cf. Romans viii. 13. 

1. 24. as a philosopher, and natural man, i. e. one who con- 
templates life and death with a mind uninfluenced by religion. 
Seneca is meant. 

Pompa mortis, &c., ' the solemn accompaniments of death 
are more fearful than death itself ', not a quotation but 
a summary of a passage in Seneca, Epist. xxiv. 

1. 26. blacks. Cf. Ben Jonson, Epigrams 44 : ' Ere blacks 
were bought for his own funeral '. 

1. 29. mates, overcomes, renders powerless (as in chess). 

1. 32. of him, i. e. of death. 

Page49, 1. I. ;^»'e-occM^a/ei^, anticipates. Ci. Seneca. [Epist. 
xxiv), ut quidam timore mortis cogantur ad mortem (' so that 
some by fear of death are driven to death '), as when a man 
throws himself to certain death from a burning house. 

1. 2. Otho, emperor at Rome from the 15th January to the 
16th April in a. D. 69. He stabbed himself on hearing that 
his army had been defeated at Betriacum by the forces of 


Vitellius. The suicide of many of Otho's soldiers is recorded 
by Tacitus {Hist. ii. 49) and Suetonius [Otho, 12). 

1. 5. Seneca adds. Cf. Seneca, Epist. Ixxvii. Bacon gives 
the substance of the passage, which is quoted by Seneca from 
a Stoic friend's address to a young man who contemplated 
suicide : ' Consider how long you have done the same things ; 
a man may be willing to die not only because he is brave or 
unhappy, but just because he is wearied of life.' 

1. 12. Augustus Caesar, died on the 19th August, A. d. 14. 
Suetonius's account (Augustus, 99) of his death is ' suddenly 
he breathed his last, kissing Li via and saying, " Li via, good- 
bye : live and remember our married life ".' This is much 
more than ' comphment ' 

1. 15. lam Tiberium, &c., ' his bodily strength was leaving 
Tiberius, but not his habit of dissimulation ', Tacitus, Annals, 
vi. 50. Tiberius died on the i6th March, a. d. 37. 

1. 16. Ut puto, &c., ' methinks I am becoming a god ', 
Suetonius, Vespasian, 23. Roman emperors after death were 
deified and received the title Divus. 

1. 17. Feri, si, &c., i. e. ' Strike, if it is to benefit the Roman 
people '. North's Plutarch, Galba, 714 b, ' and Galba, holding 
out his neck to them, bade them strike hardly, if it was to do 
their country good '. 

1. 19. Adeste, si, &c., ' be ready, if anything remains for 
me to do '. Tliis is apparently taken from the Greek aytrf, 
SoTf , £t Ti n-pS^m exo/^f " (Dio Cassius, Ixxvi. 17). The Emperor 
Severus died at York on the 4th February, a. d. 211. 

1. 20. the Stoics, &c. This is true of Seneca but not of the 
Stoics in general. 

1. 22. qui finem, &c., ' who can rank the last end of life 
among the blessings of nature ', Juvenal, Satire, x. 358 (finem 
is a mistake for spatium). 

1. 33. Extinctus, &c., ' the same man (who in life is hated) 
will be loved when dead ', Horace, Epist. ii. i. 14. 

Essay V. Page 50, 1. 4. Bona rerum, &c. Seneca, Epist. 
Ixvi, misquoted. 

1. 9. Vere magnum, &c. Seneca, Epist. liii, misquoted. 
' Security ' is here used in the sense of the Latin securitas, 
i.e. freedom from care. Cf. Ben Jonson, The Forest, xi (last 
line), ' Man may securely sin, but safely never.' 

1. 16. Hercules. This story is told by many classical writers, 
but the pot was golden, not earthen. Prometheus was accord- 
ing to Greek mythology punished for stealing fire from heaven 
by being bound to a rock on the Caucasus mountains. 

1. 20. in a mean, moderately : not highly or transcendently. 

Essay VI. Page 51, 1. 11. Tacitus saith, in Annals, v. i. 
For Livia cf. Essay II. 

1. 14. Mucianus, the chief supporter of Vespasian in his war 
against ViteUius, a. d. 69 (cf. Essay II). Tacitus, Hist., ii. 76. 

Page 52, 1. 18. as the more close air. Sec, i. e. as the warmer 
air in a room being rarefied draws in the denser air outside. 

174 NOTES 

1. 23. mysteries are due to secrecy, i.e. a man who can keep 
a secret has a right to expect secrets to be confided to him. 

1. 30. that a man's face, &c., i. e. that a man's expression 
should not betray what he is about to say or deny what he has 
said. Cf. Nee vultu destrue dicta tuo, Ovid, Ars. Amat. ii. 312. 

Page 53, 1. 7. absurd, showing deafness, unreasonable. 

1. 20. ure, occupation, use ; connected with Fr. oeuvre ; obso- 
lete, but surviving in ' inure ', ' manure '. 

1. 2.g.fair, fairly, handsomely (adverb) : opposed to ' hardly '. 

1. 31. Tell a lie and find a truth. The Spanish is ' Di mentira, 
y sacaras verdad '. 

Page 54, 1. i. round, an old use of the word, of an action 
complete or brought to a finish. 

1. 8. openness in fame, a reputation for openness. 

Essay XI. Page 54, 1. 21. Cum non sis, &c., ' when you are 
no longer what you were, there is no reason why you should 
wish to live '. Cicero, Epist. ad Fam. vii. 3. 

Page 55, 1. 5. Illi mors gravis, &c., ' death falls heavy on 
him, who dies too well known to all others but unknown to 
himself. Seneca, Thyestes, ii. 401. 

1. 17. Ei conversus Deus, &c., ' and God turned to look at 
the works which His hands had made, and saw that they were 
all very good ' ; adapted from Genesis i. 31. 

1. 27. bravery, ostentation, display. 

Page 56, 1. 32. Salomon saith. Proverbs xxviii. 21. 

1. 34. A place showeth the man, dpxn avbpa Sei^ft, Aristotle, 
Nic. Eth. V. I. 16, quoting Bias, one of the Seven Wise Men. 

Page 57, 1. l. Omnium, &c., ' by common consent fit for 
empire, if he had not been emperor '. Tacitus, Hist. i. 49. 

1. 3. Solus imperantium, &c., ' Vespasian was the only 
emperor who changed for the better '. Tacitus, Hist. i. 50. 

1. II. to side a man's self, to take one side or the other. 

Essay XIV. Page 57, 1. 28. stirps, races, families. Latin, 
stirps, plur. stirpes. The sing, in English is stirp. 

1. 31. Switzers. Switzerland is a confederation of little 
states, with various races, religions, languages, and interests. 

Page 58, 1. i. United Provinces, the seven provinces of the 
Netherlands, which in a. d. 1579 broke from their allegiance 
to Spain and became an independent republic. 

1. 30. passive envy. Envy is active (cf. ' motions of envy ') 
in respect of the person who envies ; passive, of the person 

Essay XVII. Page 59, 1. 4. Plutarch, of Boeotia, hved 
during the latter part of the first century a. d. He is best 
known for his Parallel Lives, Greek and Roman. The passage 
in the text is from an essay On Superstition. 

1. 9. Saturn. In Greek mythology Cronos, identified by the 
Romans with their god Saturnus, was king of heaven ; he was 
warned that one of his own children would supplant him, so 
he killed and ate them all, except Zeus, who was hidden from 
him and lived to dethrone him in fulfilment of the prophecy. 



1. 20. primum mobile. According to the Ptolemaic system, 
instituted by Ptolemy of Alexandria in the second century, 
the Earth is stationary and surrounded by ten moving spheres 
or orbs ; beginning nearest to the Earth, the spheres are in 
the following order : — (1) the Moon, (2) Mercury, {3) Venus, 
(4) the Sun, (5) Mars, (6) Jupiter, (y) Saturn, (8) the Firma- 
ment of fixed stars, (g) the Crystalline Sphere, and (10) the 
Primum Mobile, which last in its daily revolution carries 
round with it the nine other spheres, each of which has also 
a separate movement of its own slower than the Primum 
Mobile. C^. Milton, Paradise Lost, iv. 592-5. Bacon often 
uses primum mobile metaphorically. 

1. 24. Council of Trent, the eighteenth General Council of 
the Church begun at Trent in a. d. 1545. 

1. 25. schoolmen, men who taught in the schools or univer- 
sities of Mediaeval Europe, applying Aristotelian logic to 
theology and science. Bacon contrasts his new and fruitful 
method with their barren subtleties. 

1. 26. eccentrics and epicycles. In the Ptolemaic astronomy 
each of the planets revolved in an ' epicycle ', i. e. a small 
circle having its centre on the circumference of a greater 
circle. These circles not having the Earth at their centre 
were called ' eccentric '. Cf. Milton, Paradise Lost, viii. 81 seq. 
' How build, unbuild, contrive 
To save appearances ; how gird the sphere 
With centric and eccentric scribbled o'er. 
Cycle and epicycle, orb in orb.' 
' To save the phenomena ' and Milton's ' to save appearances ' 
are translations of the Greek phrase, aai^eiv ra <j>mv6fuvn. ' to 
explain all the phenomena, leaving nothing out of account ' 

Essay XVIII. Page 61, 1. 18. triumphs. See Essay I. 

I. 33. adamant, from the Greek dSd/xar (d, not -f- 8afiuo>, I 
tame or break), meaning 'invincible, unbreakable', hence 
used to denote the hardest substances known to the ancients, 
e. g. steel and, later, diamond. But mediaeval Latin writers 
connecting it with adamare ( = to love) used it to denote the 
loadstone or magnet. Hence the metaphorical use here. 

Essay XX. Page 63, 1. 5. The Counsellor. Isaiah ix. 6. 

1. 6. in counsel is stability. Proverbs xx. 18 (paraphrased). 

1. II. Salomon's son, Rehoboam. See i Kings xii. 

Page 64, 1. 23. cabinet counsels. The word cabinet is not 
used here in the modem technical sense, which grew up in the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but in the sense cf 
secret or private unofficial councils. 

1. 24. Plenus rimarum sum, ' I am full of chinks.' Terence, 
Eunuchus, i. 2. 25. 

1. 32. to grind with a hand-mill, i. e. to do his own 

Page 65, 1. 2. Morton and Fox. John Morton was Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury and Chancellor to Henry VII. Richard 
Fox was Bishop of Winchester and Privy Seal. 

176 NOTES 

1. 9. holpen, old past part, of help, used in the sense of 
' cure ' : cf. ' Help thou mine unbelief '. 

1. II. non inveniet, &c., ' he shall not find faith on the earth '. 
Luke xviii. 8. Cf. Essay I. 

1. 22. Principis est, &c., ' The greatest virtue in a prince 
is to know his people.' Martial, viii. xv. 8. 

Page 66, 1. 6. secundum genera, ' according to their class '. 

1. 10. Optimi, &c., ' the dead are the best counsellors '. 

I. II. blanch, The meaning 'avoid a plain issue, gloss over 
or palliate the facts ' suits the context ; but the Latin version 
has in adulationem lapsuri, ' about to fall into adulation', 
which impUes that ' blanch ' was associated with ' blandish '. 

1. 18. In node consilium, ' in the night comes counsel'. 

1. 19. commission of union. In 1604 a scheme for uniting 
the kingdoms of England and Scotland was discussed and 
almost agreed upon. 

1. 24. hoc agere, ' do the business which is before them'. 

Page 67, 1. 2. tribunitious, overbearing, turbulent : from 
the conduct of the tribunes of the Plebs at Rome. 

1. 10. fake the wind of him,, i. e. see which way the wind 
blows and go in the same direction. 

1. 12. placebo, the office of Vespers for the Dead, so called 
from its first antiphon. Placebo Domino (Ps. cxiv. 9 Vulgate) ; 
hence the phrase to sing him a song of placebo, which means ' to 
curry favour with him '. 

Essay XXIII. Page 67, 1. 19. stands fast, &c., another 
allusion to Ptolemaic astronomy. Cf. Essay XVII. 

Page 68, 1. 7. a bias upon their bowl. A bowl is weighted 
on one side to make it turn in its course, the word ' bias ' being 
used to denote both the weighted side and its effect. 

1. 13. and, if. 

1. 22. crocodiles, that shed tears. Cf. ' In this river we saw 
many crocodiles. . . . His nature is ever when hee would have 
his prey to cry and sobbe like a Christian body to provoke 
them to come to him, and then hee snatcheth at them.' 
Hakluyt, Sir J . Hawkins' Voyage. 

1. 25. sui amantes, &c., ' lovers of themselves without 
a rival '. Cicero, ad Quintum Fratrem, iii.- 8 (loosely quoted). 

Essay XXIV. Page 69, 11. 4, 5. natural motion, e. g. the 
accelerating fall of a heavy body ; forced motion, e. g. the flight 
of an arrow, decreasing in speed and finally ceasing. 

1. 31. pretendeth, is a pretext for. 

1. 33. we make a stand, &c. Jeremiah vi. 16. 

Essay XXV. Page 70,1. 15. a wise man. It appears from the 
Apophthegms that this was Sir Amyas Paulet, English ambassa- 
dorattheFrench Court, withwhomBaconstayedasayoungman. 

Page 71, 1. 25. ashes are more generative than dust. Bacon, 
like Pliny in his Natural History, speaks of both ashes and 
dust as good manure. The contrast suggested is between the 
more solid ashes, which are the remains left by the discussion 
of a definite scheme, and the mere dust of aimless dispute. 


Essay XXVII. Page 71, 1. 28. Whosoever is delighted, &c. 
Aristotle, Politics, i. 2. 

Page 72, 1. 2. conversation, intercourse, intimacy. 

1. 4. Epimenides, a Cretan seer, who is said to have purified 
Athens from plague about 596 b.c. 

Numa, the second king of ancient Rome and the legendary 
founder of many reUgious observances. 

1. 5. Empedocles, a Sicilian philosopher of the fifth century 
who ' combined scientific study with a mystical religion o'f 
the Orphic type' (Professor Burnet). 

Apollonius, of Tyana, a Pjrthagorecin philosopher and 
ascetic of the first century a.d. 

1. II. Ma^na civitas, &c., ' a great city is great solitude '. 

Page 73, 1. 4. sorteth to, turns to, results in. 

1. 8. participes curarum, ' partners in their cares '. 

1. 16. Sylla. Lepidus was the friend for whom Pompey 
' carried the consulship ' against Sylla's wishes, but this 
answer was given when Sylla refused him a triumph. 

I. 24. Decimiis Brutus. Cf. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, 
II. ii. ' Nephew ' should be ' great-nephew ', viz. Octavius, 
afterwards Augustus. 

1. 33. Antonius, in a letter. Cicero, Philippics, xiii. 11. 

1. 35. Agrippa, a life-long friend of Augustus and a successful 

Page 74, 1. 2. Maecenas, the friend and counsellor of 
Augustus. The passage quoted is from Dio Cassius, liv. 6. 

1. 6. Sejanus, a friend of the Emperor Tiberius (cf. Essay 
II) and prefect of the Praetorian guard. He aimed at the 
imperial power for himself, and Tiberius learning of his 
treachery sent Macro with a message from Capreae to the 
Senate, who immediately decreed the execution of Sejanus. 

1. 8. Haec^yoawici^ia, &c., ' these things in accordance with 
our friendship I have not concealed '. Tacitus, Annals, iv. 40. 

1. 12. Septimius Severus, emperor a.d. 193-211 ; his eldest 
son, who married the daughter of Plautianus, was Caracalla. 
Plautianus turned traitor, and was put to death in a.d. 203. 
The quotation ' I love, &c.' is from Dio Csissius, Ixxv. 15. 

1. 17. Trajan, one of the greatest and best of the Roman 
emperors (a.d. 98-117). 

Marcus Aurelius, emperor a.d. 161-80, a successful and 
popular ruler, whose ' Thoughts ' are still widely read. 

1. 23. as an half-piece, perhaps a reference to the old practice 
of cutting silver pennies into halves to make up for the 
deficiency of smaller coins. 

1. 27. Comineus, PhiUppe de Commines, secretary to Charles 
' the Bold ', Duke of Burgundy (1433-77) : te afterwards 
served Charles's enemy, Louis XI, King of France. 

Page75, 1. 12. alchymists. The chemistry of the Middle 
Ages was mostly concerned with the problem of making gold 
out of baser metals, and the discovery of a universal medicine ; 
it was supposed that the miracle could be performed by means 

178 NOTES 

1. 15. praying in aid of, calling in the help of, a legal phrase. 

1. 34. said by Themistocles. Cf . Plutarch, Life of Themistocles, 
where, however, the distinction is made between exact and 
inexact speaking, not between speech and thought. Themis- 
tocles, when banished from Athens, 471 B.C., went to the 
Persian court, where King Artaxerxes received him with 

1. 35. cloth of Arras, tapestry, so called from Arras, a town 
in Artois, where it was made. 

Page 76, 1. 14. Dry light. Heraclitus was a philosopher of 
Ephesus, who lived about 500 b. c. What he said was — 
' A dry soul Ic^vx',) is wisest and best.' In his Apophthegms 
Bacon quotes the sentence as ' the dry light was the best soul, 
meaning, when the faculties intellectual are in vigour, not wet 
nor, as it were, blooded by the affections '. 

Page 77, 1. 2. that look sometimes, &c. James i. 23-4. 

1. 3. presently, immediately ; favour, face, look. 

1. 7. four and twenty letters. An angry man should say over 
the alphabet before acting. I and J were regarded as one 
letter only, as were U and V. 

Page78, 1. 5. a friend is another himself . This is supposed 
to be a saying originally of Pythagoras ; it occurs twice in 
Aristotle, viz. Nic. Eth. ix. 4, 5 and Eud. Eth. vii. 12, i. 

1. 8. bestowing of a child, i. e. in marriage. 

Essay XXIX. Page 78, 1. 29. Themistocles. Cf. Essay 
XXVII. This story is told by Plutarch [Life of Themistocles). 

Page 79, 1. 19. negoiiis pares, i. e. ' equal to their business ' : 
cf. Tacitus, Ann. vi. 39 'par negotiis neque supra'. 

Page 80, 1. 3. kingdom of heaven, &c. Matthew xiii. 31. 

1. 17. It never troubles. Sec. Virgil, Eclogues, vii. 52. 

1. 18. plains of Arbela. Alexander the Great defeated 
Darius, King of Persia, near Arbela in Assyria, 331 B.C. The 
saying is recorded by Plutarch {Life of A lexander) . 

1. 23. Tigranes, King of Armenia, son-in-law of Mithridates, 
defeated at Tigranocerta by the Romans under LucuUus 
69 B.C. The quotation is from Plutarch {Life of LucuUus). 

1. 35. Solon, the great Athenian statesman, was said to have 
visited Croesus, King of Lydia {560-546 B.C.). See Herodotus, 
i. 29 and for the sentence quoted Lucian, Charon, 7. 

Page81, 1. 12. blessing of Judah and Issachar. Genesis 
xlix. 9, 14. 

1. 30. staddles, young trees left standing when others are 
cut down. 

Page 82, 1. 16. Terra potens, &c., ' a land mighty in arms 
and in fruitfulness.' Virgil, Aeneid i. 531. 

1. 28. Nebuchadnezzar' s tree. Daniel iv. 10 et seq. 

Page 83, 1. 12. jus civitatis, &c., i.e. ' the right of citizen- 
ship', comprising ' the right of trading, the rijht of inter- 
marriage, the right of inheritance, the right of voting, and the 
right of candidature for civic office '. 

1. 31. Pragmatical Sanction, a term first used of decrees 



of the Eastern emperors, and afterwards applied to any 
imperial decree affecting a whole community. The ' Sanction ' 
here mentioned was published by Philip IV in 1622, giving 
special privileges to married men, particularly to those who 
had six or more children. 

Page85, 1. 21. prest, Teady ; obsolescent by 1700. 

1. 30. war for the liberty of Graecia, the war (200-196 b.c.) 
between the Romans and Philip of Macedon. 

Page 86, 1. 20. Consilium Pompeii, &c. ' Pompey's policy 
is clearly that of Themistocles ; for he considers that the mE.n 
who commands the sea commands the situation.' Cicero, 
Ep. ad Atticum, x. 8 (inaccurately quoted). 

1. 24. Actium. Octavius defeated Antony ofi Actium 31 B.C. 
and made himself master of the Roman world. 

1. 25. battle of Lepanto. The Christian fleet decisively 
defeated the Turks off Lepanto on the Gulf of Corinth in 1571. 

1. 28. set up their rest, ventured their last stake or reserve, 
staked their all. 

Page 87, 1. 31. by care taking, &c. Matthew vi. 27. 

Essay XXXII. Page 88, 1. 26. Parce puer, &c., ' spare the 
goad, boy, and pull more firmly with the reins '. Ovid, Meta- 
morphoses, ii. 127. 

Page 89, 1. 4. a poser, an examiner : still used in this sense 
of the examiners sent by New College to Winchester. 

1. 17. of touch towards, touching, affecting. 

1. 23. dry blow, &c., i.e. a blow which does not draw blood. 

Essay XXXVI. Page 90, 1. i. choler, which is an humour, 
&c. The four cardinal ' humours ' are blood, choler, phlegm, 
and melancholy, which according to ancient and mediaeval 
physiology by the proportion in which they are present in 
a man determine his physical and mental qualities. 

1. 4. adust, burnt, scorched. 

1. 28. Tiberius . . . Macro . . . Sejanus. Cf. Essay XXVII. 

Page 91, 1. 12. obnoxious, exposed. 

Essay XXXIX. Page 92, 1. 4. Macciavel. Niccolo 
MachiavelU of Florence (1469-1527) whose II Principe (The 
Prince), a treatise on statecraft, had a wide influence, and has 
been taken as the type of non-moral politics. For a just 
estimate see // Principe, ed. L. A. Burd, Clarendon Press. 

1. 12. Friar Clement, assassinated Henry III of France 1589. 
Ravillac — Fran9ois Ravaillac, who assassinated Henry IV 
of France in 1610. 

Jaureguy, attempted to assassinate William the Silent, 
Prince of Orange, in 1582. 

Baltazar Gerard, assassinated William the Silent in 1584. 

1. 15. of the first blood, committing their first murder. 

1. 16. votary, confirmed by vow. 

1. 24. Indians, &c., i. e. the G5nxinosophists, ascetic and 
mystical philosophers, of whom reports were brought to 
Europe by the companions of Alexander the Great. Cf. 
Plutarch. Life of Alexander, and Cicero, Tusc. Disp. v. 27. 

i8o NOTES 

1. 29. queching, flinching, quitching : now dialectal. 

Page 93, 1. 20. in his exaltation, a metaphor from astrology, 
exaltation being the place of a planet in the Zodiac when it is 
supposed to exert its greatest influence. 

Essay XLII. Page 94, 1. 4. Juventutem egit, &c., ' his youth 
was full of blunders, or rather acts of madness'. Severus, cf. 
Essay II. 

1. 7. Cosmus, Cosmo de' Medici, Duke of Florence 1537-74, 
a wise and successful ruler. 

1. 8. Gaston de Foix, nephew of Louis XII, and Duke of 
Nemours. He commanded the French army both in Italy 
and Spain and was killed at the battle of Ravenna, 151 2, at the 
age of twenty-three. There was an earlier Gaston de Foix, 
1331, whom Froissart describes as a pattern of chivalry. 

Page 95, 1. 3. Your young men, &c. Joel ii. 28. 

1. 12. Hermogenes, a Greek rhetorician of the second century 
A.D., born at Tarsus. 

1. 17. Idem manebat, &c., i. e. ' he remained the same, but 
the same was no longer becoming to him ', Cicero, Brutus, 95. 
Hortensius {114-50 b. c.) was one of the great orators of Rome. 

1. 21. Ultima primis cedebant, ' the end was not equal to 
the beginning'. Publius Cornelius Scipio ended the Second 
Punic War in 202 b. c. In 187 he was accused of accepting 
bribes from Antiochus, King of Syria, left Rome in indignation, 
and died in retirement 183 b. c. 

Essay XLVI. For the flowers in Bacon's garden, see 
Paradisi in Sole Paradisus Terrestris, by John Parkinson, 1629. 

Page 95, 1. 22. God Almighty, &c. Genesis ii. 8. 

Page 97, 1. i. ver perpetuum, ' perpetual spring'. 

1.15. Bartholomew-tide. St. Bartholomew's Day is August 24. 

Page 98, 1. 29. slope, sloping : now poetical. 

Page 99, 1. i. letting, hindering, obstructing. 

Page 101,1. 13. tZeceiuei/ie^yees, takeaway their nourishment. 

Essay XLVII. Page 102, 1. 22. affect, have affection for, 
are fond of : as commonly in Shakespeare. 

1. 26. absurd. See note on p. 53, 1. 7. 

Essay L. Page 104, 1. 26. Abeunt studia in mores, " studies 
pass into character '. Ovid, Heroides, xv. 83. 

1.27. sto«(i, impediment, stoppage : found in this sense only 
in Bacon. 

1. 30. shooting, archery. 

Page 105, 1. i. Cymini seclores, ' dividers of cummin-seeds ', 
i. e. given to excessive subtlety. But the Greek word Kvfxivo- 
Trpia-TTjs, from which Bacon obviously took the phrase, 
means a ' skinflint ', not a ' hair-splitter '- 

apt to beat over, good at going over the ground of. 

1. 3. A study of lawyers' cases would teach a man how to 
search for precedents and apply them. 

Essay LIV. Page 105, 1. 8. moveth upon greater means, 
i. e. is set on foot by others more capable than themselves. 

1. 18. Antiochus and the Aetolians. Antiochus, King of 


Syria, 223-187 B.C., promised his help to the Aetohans in 
their revolt against the Romans. Each had overestimated 
the strength of the other, and the revolt was soon quelled. 

1. 28. militar. Bacon uses also the form ' military ', e. g. 
p. 80, 1. 33. 

1. 31. charge and adventure, cost and risk. 

Page 106, 1. 3. Qui de contemnenda. Sue, ' those who write 
books on contempt of vain-glory, put their own names on the 
title-page'. Cicero, Tusc. Disp. i. 15 (inexactly quoted). 

1. 5. Galen, Greek writer of medical treatises, a.d. 130-200. 
full of ostentation, i. e. they spoke with authority and made 
large claims for their teaching. 

1. 6. virtue was never so beholding, &c., i. e. human nature 
is such that the memory of a man's virtue is more often 
perpetuated by his own expressed opinion of himself, than by 
others' opinions of him. 

1. 9. Plinius Secundus, the younger Phny, whose Panegyric 
on the Emperor Trajan and ten books of Letters are extant. 

1. 13. Omnium quae dixerat, &c., ' one who was almost an 
artist in making known what he had said and done ', Tacitus, 
Hist. ii. 80. Mucianus, cf . Essay VI. 

The Advancement of Learning 

Page 108. Objections made to Learning. Book I (ed. 
Aldis Wright, pp. 15-17). 

1. 22. not in the purchase, not in that which is acquired by it. 

1. 27. Seneca, Ep. iii. 5 (' Some are so retiring that they 
think daylight dangerous ') from Pomponius. 

Page 109, 1. 14. Demosthenes. See Plutarch, Demosthenes, 
viii. 2, where the story is told of Pythesis, not Aeschines. 

1. 18. doubt, fear. 

1. 21. of both, i. e. learning and business. 

1. 30. maniable, tractable, manageable. 

Page 110. Education. Book I (ed. Aldis Wright, pp. 20, 
21). Learning is discredited by the poverty of learned men, 
their obscurity, and their mean employments. 

1. 2. traduced to contempt, contemptuously paraded. 

1. 3. which age, &c. The ' it ' is unnecessarily repeated, the 
words ' which age ' being placed foremost in the sentence 
without any government. 

1. 14. Your young men, &c. Joel, ii. 28. Cf. Essay XLII, 

P- 95. 1- 3- 

1. 18. pedantes. Cf. Florio's Montaigne, ed. 1603, p. 60 : 
' I have in my youth oftentimes been vexed to see a Pedant 
brought in, in most of Italian comedies, for a vice or sport- 
maker.' Bacon's form ' pedantes ' has three syllables. The 
Italian pedante was not yet fully naturalized as pedant. 

I. 27. Quo meliores, &c., ' the better they are, the worse 
they are ', a saying of Diogenes. See Diog. Laert. vi. 46. 

1. 30. Talis quum. Sec, ' Seeing you are such a man I wish 
vou belonged to us'. Plutarch, Agesilaus, xii. 5. 

i82 NOTES 

Page 111. Self and Country. Book I (ed. Aldis M'right, 
pp. 22-4). 

1. 5. Demosthenes. De Chersoneso, p. 72 (a free version) . 

1. 10. Quinquennium Neronis. The phrase is used by 
Aurelius Victor {De Caesaribus, v. 2), fl. 360 a.d., quoting 
Trajan's praise of this period. It was formerly understood, as 
by Bacon here, to refer to the early years, when Nero was 
under the influence of Seneca. Mr. J. G. C. Anderson {Journal 
of Roman Studies, vol. i) has shown reason for thinking that 
Trajan referred to Nero's building activities of a later date. 

1. 16. casualty, uncertainty. 

1. 22. Ecce tibi, &c., ' lo, I have gained for thee (not me) ' 
Cf. Matthew xxv. 20. 

1. 26. Cf. Essay XXIII, p. 67, 11. 19-22. 

1. 29. estates. Dr. Aldis Wright suggests ' estate ' ; the 
Latin translation has ' de reipublicae navi '. 

1. 33. stand, stand firm, keep their position. 

Page 112. Words and Matter. Book I (ed. Aldis Wright, 

1. 12. secMMi^Mm ma;M5 ei miwMi, ' to a greater or less degree '. 

1. 17. Pygmalion, who fell in love with the statue he had 
made. See Ovid, Metam. x. 243. 

Page 112. The End of Knowledge. Book I (ed. Aldis 
Wright, pp. 42-3). 

Page ll3, 1. 13. Saturn . . . Jupiter. Suggested by Macro- 
bius, fl. a.d. 400, Somnium Scipionis, i. 12 ' in Saturni 
ratiocinationem et intelligentiam, ... in lovis vim agendi ' 

1. 22. Declinat cursus, &c., ' turns aside and picks up the 
golden ball '. Ovid, Metam. x. 667. 

1. 23. spoken of Socrates. Cicero, Tusc. Disp. v. 4. 10. 

Page 114. Learning makes for Peace and'Order. Book I 
(ed. Aldis Wright, pp. 52-3). 

1. 24. Then should people, Sec. Plato, Republic, v, p. 473. 
A favourite saying of Antoninus Pius. 

1. 32. peremptory, destructive. 

Page 115. Knowledge and Private Virtue. Book I (ed. 
Aldis Wright, pp. 67-70). 

1. 10. Scilicet ingenuas, &c., ' faithfully to have learned 
liberal arts softens manners and makes them gentle '. Ovid, 
Ep. Pont. ii. 9. 47. 

1. 24. Nil novi super lerram, Ecclesiastes i. 10, Vulgate ' nihil 
sub sole novum ', ' there is no new thing under the sun '. 

1. 26. adviseth well of the motion, observes carefully the 

1. 31. passage, pass, ford. 

1. 32. It seemed to him, &c. Plutarch {Agesilaus, 15. 6) 
relates, that Alexander called the battle between Antipater 
and Agis a battle of mice. The news was brought to him soon 
after the battle of Arbela. Cf . Seneca, Nat. Quaest. 1 . prol. 
§ 10 ' formicarum iste discursus est in angusto laborantium '. 

Page 116, 1. 5. whereas, where. 


1. 12. Epicieius. The dramatic form of the story is appar- 
ently Bacon's own. 

1. 15. Heri vidi, &c. ' Yesterday I saw a brittle pot broken, 
to-day I have seen a mortal die.' 

1. 19. Felix, qui, &c. Virgil, Georgics, ii. 490 : 
Happy, who had the skill to understand 
Nature's hid causes, and beneath his feet 
All terrors cast, and death's relentless gloom 
And the loud roar of greedy Acheron. (Rhoades.) 

1. 28. rationem toHus, ' the reason of the whole ', apparently- 
referring to Ecclesiastes xii. 13. 

1. 33. suavissima vita, &c., ' the sweetest life is to find 
oneself daily growing better ' ; the sentence appears to be 
derived from Xenophon, Memorabilia, i. 6. 9. 

Page 117, 1. 29. Victorque, &c. Virgil, Georgics, iv. 561 : 

bare rule o'er willing folk 
Though vanquished, and essayed the heights of heaven. 

Page 118, 1. 10. Revelation, ii. 24. 

Page 118. The Pleasure of Learning. Book I (ed. Aldis 
Wright, pp. 71-2). 

1. 17. exceed the pleasure of the sense. So in the Errata to 
ed. 1605. The original editions have ' exceed the senses '. 
The Lat. is oblectamenta sensuum excedent. The true reading 
is probably ' exceed the pleasures of the senses '. 

1. 22. verdure, freshness. 

1. 23. deceits of pleasure, deceptive, unreal pleasures. 

1. 26. ambitious princes. Bacon was perhaps thinking of the 
Emperor Charles V, who resigned the crown of Spain in favour 
of his son in 1556, and retired to the monastery of San 

1. 29. appeareth, i.e. ' knowledge appeareth '. 

1. 33. Suave mari magna, &c. Lucretius, ii. i-io. Cf. the 
translation of the passage in Essay I, p. 47. 

Page 119. Acts of Merit towards Learning. Book II 
(ed. Aldis Wright, pp. 76-7). 

1. 17. accomplishments, ornaments. 

Page 119. Limitations of Colleges. Book II (ed. Aldis 
Wright, pp. 78-9). 

1. 30. the ancient fable, the fable of the belly and the members 
told by Menenius Agrippa, Livy, ii. 32. See Shakespeare, 
Coriolanus, i. i. 99, &c. 

Page 120, 1. 5. universality, the study of general principles. 

1. 15. professory learning, the teaching which has for its 
object one special branch of study. 

malign aspect and influence. This metaphor is derived 
from the old astrology, in which the planets were supposed to 
exercise control over human destinies. 

Page 120. Intf.rcourse of Universities. Book II (ed. 
Aldis Wright, pp. 82-3). 

Page 121, 1. 2. Provincial, the head of an order in a pro- 
Trin^j. nr rlis+rirt • c.i. Sandvs. Euro-bae S-0ec. (16^2), p. 6q : 

i84 NOTES 

' These generals have under them their provincials or lieutenants 
in every province or state of Christendom.' 

1. 8. illuminations or lights. James i. 17. 

Page 121. Reason, Will, and Imagination. Book II 
(ed. Aldis Wright, pp. 147-8). 

1. 18. Janus, one of the earliest Roman deities, connected 
with the door of the house, and always represented with two 
heads. See Dr. Warde Fowler's Roman Festivals, p. 282. 

1. 22. Quales decet, &c., ' such as are meet for sisters '. Ovid, 
Metam. ii. 14. 

1. 26. Aristotle. Politics, i. 3. 

Page 122, 1. 2. eloquence. In the Latin this is expressed 
more clearly ; where the minds of men are in any way wrought 
upon by rlietorical artifices, the imagination is roused tiU it 
triumphs over the reason, and as it were does it violence, 
partly by blinding and partly by exciting it. 

1. 8. the former division. ' The parts of human learning 
have reference to the three parts of man's understanding : 
history to his memory, poesy to his imagination, and philo- 
sophy to his reason ' (ed. Aldis Wright, p. 85) . 

1. 18. in the doctrine De Anima. See II. 11. 3, where the 
use of ceremonial magic is deprecated. 

Page 122. Memory. Book II (ed. Aldis Wright, p. 165). 

1. 27. An art there is extant of it. Cornelius Agrippa, in his 
Vanitie of the Sciences, has a chapter ' Of the Arte of Memorie '. 
Giordano Bruno also wrote an Ars Memoriae. 

Page 123, 1. 10. funambuloes, baladines, tight-rope walkers 
and dancers. 

Page 123. Knowledges as delivered. Book II (ed. Aldis 
Wright, pp. 170-1). 

1.14. contract of error. Where the two parties to the contract 
have different objects, the contract fails. 

1. 22. to be spun on, to be spun continuously, without break. 

1. 25. knowledge induced, derived by induction. 

1. 28. secundum majus et minus. See p. 112, 1. 13. 

Page 124, 1. 9. ure, use. 

Page 124. Double Nature of Good. Book II (ed. Aldis 
Wright, pp. 189-91). 

1. 30. in commission of purveyance, commissioned to make 

Page 125, 1. 2. Necesse est, &c. Plutarch, Pomp. c. 50, 
' I am bound to go but I am not bound to live '. 

1. 10. St. Paul, Romans ix. 3, and Moses, Exodus xxxii. 32. 

1. 22. Pythagoras. The story is told by Cicero (Tusc. Disp. 
V. 3) from Heraclides Ponticus of Leo tyrant of Phlius, not of 

1. 30. this theatre of man's life. The reference is to Genesis i, 
where after each of the six days' work ' God saw that it was 
good '. Compare Essay XI, p. 55, 1. 15. 

1. 33. Pretiosa, &c. Psalm cxvi. 15, ' precious in the sight 
of the Lord is the death of his saints '. 


1. 34. civil death, &c. Members of religious orders (the 
regular clergy) cut themselves off from civil life. 

Page 126, 1. i. simple. So ed. 1605 ; the editions of 1629, 
1633 read ' simply '. 

1. 5. Moses. Exodus xxiii. 

1. 6. Genesis v. 24. 

1. 8. Jude 14. 

Page 126. Private and Public Good. Book II (ed. Aldis 
Wright, pp. 197-9)- 

1. 30. incidently, incidentally. 

Page 127, 1. 11. Of. Essay XLVIII : ' For lookers on, many 
times, see more than gamesters : and the vale best discovereth 
the hill." 

1. 14. of active matter, concerning subjects of active life. 

1. 16. Phormio. Cicero, De Oral. ii. 18. 75. Catulus tells 
how Phormio the Peripatetic lectured Hannibal on the art of 
war, and Hannibal thought him the maddest man he had seen. 

Page 127. The Affections. Book IT (ed. Aldis Wright, 
pp. 207-9). 

1. 24. it is in order, i.e. the order is. 

1. 31. politiques, statesmen. Cf. Demosthenes, On the 
Embassy, § 136 : the people is the most unstable thing in 
the world and the most incalculable, inconstant as a wave of 
the sea, stirred by every chance wind. 

Page 128, 1. 24. Plutarch and Seneca wrote on Anger, and 
Plutarch has treatises of comfort upon adverse accidents 
(addressed to his wife and to Apollonius), and of tenderness 
of countenance (Tfpt Suo-tomns) or bashfulness. Seneca too 
has a dialogue de Consolatione. 

Page 129, 1. 6. praemium and poena, reward and punish- 

Page 129. The Good Hours of the Mind. Book II (ed. 
Aldis Wright, pp. 212-15). 

1. 24. de novo, making a fresh start. 

Page 130, 1. 18. Which state of mind, i.e. concerning which 
state of mind. Aristotle, Nic. Eth. vii. i. i. ' But for the 
opposite of the brutal character it would be most appropriate 
to take the excellence which is beyond us — the excellence of 
a hero or a god. . . . For just as neither virtue nor vice belongs 
to a brute, so does neither belong to a god ; to the latter 
belongs something higher than virtue, to the former something 
specifically different from vice.' (Peters.) 

1. 26. Pliny, Paneg. c. 74 ; not a funeral oration, but 
delivered at the beginning of the reign of Trajan, who survived 

1. 34. bond of perfection, Colossians iii. 14. 

Page 131, 1. i. Menander, not Menander, but Anaxandrides 
(Ellis). See Meineke, Graec. Com. Frag. iii. 199 '■ 
fOQJS aotpiOTov yiyverai dida(TKa\os 
a-Katov TToXv Kpeirrav npos tox avSpairtov jSioc, 

1. 6. preceptions, precepts. 

i86 NOTES 

1. 6. dexleriously. Bacon uses also the form ' dexterously '- 

1. 12. Xenophon, Symp. i. lo. 

1. 20. Ascendant, &c. Isaiah xiv. 14. 

1. 22. Eriiis, &c. Genesis iii. 5. 

Page 131. To prevail in Fortune. Book II (ed. Aldis 
Wright, pp. 228-9). 

1.32. because, in order that ; pragmatical men, men of affairs. 

Page 132, 1. 7. the globe of crystal. Cf . II, ed. Aldis Wright, 
p. 249 : ' For so it is expressed in the scriptures touching the 
government of God, that this globe, which seemeth to us a dark 
and shady body, is in the view of God as crystal ' : see Revela- 
tion iv. 6. 

1. 8. form, the true nature or law of a theory. Cf. Fowler, 
Introduction to Nov. Org. § 8. 

1. 19. Momus. Lucian, Hermotim. 20. 

1. 28. Sola, &c. ' Thou only knewest the tender ways and 
hours Of access to the man ' (Rhoades). Virgil, Aen. iv. 423. 

Page 133. Knowledge of Men. Book II (ed. Aldis Wright, 

PP- 233-4)- 

1. 5. inwardness, intimacy. 

1. II. mediocrity, mean, or middle course. 

1. 20. Et hoc volo, &c., ' I want to do this and I want to keep 
my will (in harmony with nature) '. 'I want to do this and also 
to learn something new '. Epictetus, Manual 4. 

Page 134. The Proportion of Things. Book II (ed. 
Aldis Wright, pp. 242-3). 

1. 7. of proportions, of the relative values of things. 

1. 16. Caesar. Bell. Civ. i. 30 : ' All this he did with great zeal.' 

1. 32. sinews of the wars. Cf. Essay XXIX, p. 80, 33 foil, and 
note. In Diog. Laert, iv. 48 t6v ttKovtov vivpa npayimTuiv, ' wealth 
is the sinews of action ', is quoted as a saying of Bion's. Cf. 
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, iv. 3. 218-21. 

Page 135, 1. 12. an after game, to recover it when it has lost 

1. 22. Quod nunc instat agamus, ' let us about our business '. 
Virgil, Eel. ix. 66. 

Page 135. The Prelude Ended. Book II (ed. Aldis 
Wright, pp. 251-2). 

1. 28. si nunquam fallit imago, ' if the image never deceives '. 
Virgil, Eel. ii. 27. 

Page 136, 1. 22. only if, i.e. if only. 

1. 31. Verbera, sed audi, ' Strike, but hear ', said by Themis- 
tocles to Eurybiades. 

1. 32. so, provided that. 

New Atlantis 
This was written as part of Bacon's scheme for the organi- 
zation of learning and discovery, and should be read with 
the Advancement and the Novum Organum. The idea is 
derived from the Timaeus and the Letters of Plato, in which 
the lost island of Atlantis in the Atlantic and its civilization 


are described. Bacon, with many others, identified America 
with Atlantis. See Introd. to New Atlantis, ed. A. B. Gough. 

Page 137, 1. 4. cambric. When glass was an expensive 
luxury, as in the Middle Ages, this was a common substitute. 

Page 138, 1. 3. cast it, reckoned. Cf. ' to cast up accounts '. 

1. 9. civilly, soberly, without ostentation. 

1. 10. dorture, dormitory ; also spelt dortour, dorter. 

Page 139, 1. 25. confusion of face, shame ; a biblical phrase, 
as in Ezra ix. 7. 

Page 140, 1. 5. in expectation, waiting to see. 

1. 9. divine pool, like the pool of Bethesda, John v. 2-4. 
kindly, naturally, in accordance with ' kind ' or nature. 

1. 19. avoided, quitted ; an obsolete use. 

1. 30. aforehand, provided for, supplied in advance. 

1. 33. defray you, pay your expenses. 

Page 141, 1. 19. our tongues, &c. Cf. Psalm cxxxvii. 6. 

1. 30. prevent us, anticipate our needs. 

Page 142, 1. 3. Bensalem, in Hebrew ' sons of peace ' 

1. 9. for the entertainment of the time, so as to spend the 
time to advantage. 

1. 19. in respect, &c., considering that. Cf. As You Like It, 
III. ii. 14 : ' In respect that it is a shepherd's life, it is naught.' 

1. 30. within night : an unusual expression ; in the Latin 
version ' noctu '. 

Page 143, 1. 8. as in a theatre in a semicircle, like the 
spectators in a theatre. 

1. 10. the Society of Salomon's House : see p. 154. 

1. 19. discern, distinguish. 

1. 24. Thy finger. Cf . Exodus viii. 19 : ' This is the finger 
of God.' 

Page 144, 1. 11. sindons. The sindon (Greek invhav) of the 
ancients was a fine fabric from India (Sind) . Later, the name 
was given to linen, or a wrapper made of it. 

the canonical books, the books which form the canon 
{icavu>v) or ' rule ' of faith, i. e. the Bible, as distinguished from 
various apocryphal books. 

1. 27. conform to, similar to. See Acts ii. i-li. 

1. 33. remain : formerly common for ' remains ', ' remnant '. 

1. 34. Bartholomew. It was an early beUef that the twelve 
Apostles preached the Gospel to the principal nations of the 
world. St. Bartholomew is said to have preached in India. 

Page 145, 1. 28. any of : perhaps should be ' of any '. 

Page 146, 1. 7. conclave : a figurative use of the word 
taken from its original sense, a private room, closet. 

1. II. propriety, property. 

1. 24. tender . . . to ask, sensitive about asking. 

1. 26. touch, hint. 

Page 147, 1. 2. within these six-score years : these would 
include the voyages of Diaz, Vasco da Gama, Columbus, and 
Cabot among others. 

1. 6. what it was, whatever was the cause. 

i88 NOTES 

1. 7. For the trade of Tyre see Ezekiel xxvii. 

1. 8. the Carthaginians. The Tyrians are said to have 
founded Carthage in 813 B.C. 

1. 9. the shipping of Egypt. The ancient Egyptians were not 
great navigators, though from very early times their fleets 
sailed down the Red Sea to Somahland, or Punt, whence they 
brought frankincense, myrrh, and other precious cargoes. 
For their voyage round Africa see Herodotus iv. 42. 

1. 10. Palestine. We have no accounts of Hebrew voyages, 
except those undertaken by Solomon. 

China. Nothing is known of the navigation of the high 
seas by the Chinese before the reign of the great emperor 
Shi Hwang-ti, 220-210 B.C. 

1. II. the great Atlantis : see note on p. 137 above. 

1. 23. stirps : see note on p. 57, 1. 28. 

1. 25. the Pillars of Hercules ; the Straits of Gibraltar. 

1. 26. Paguin, Peking ; which, however, was never a sea- 
port. Kublai Khan, the great Mongol emperor, rebuilt Peking 
in 1284, and it received the Mongolian name of Khanbalik, 
i. e. ' city of the Khan ', spelt Cambaluc by Marco Polo, and 
here corrupted into Cambaline. 

1. 27. Quinzy, the great Chinese city now known as Hang- 
chow, called by Marco Polo Kinsai. 

1. 28. the borders, &c., the coast of Asia, north of China. 

1. 31. the narration, &c. Bacon refers to Plato's frag- 
mentary dialogue Critias. 

1. 32. planted, settled, founded a colony. 

Page 148, 1. i. Degrees, steps. 

1. 2. Scala Caeli, a ladder of heaven, like Jacob's ladder. 

1. 4. Peru, then called Coya. Peru never bore the name 
Coya, which may be a confusion with Colla, a civilized nation 
overthrown by the Incas. 

1. 5. Tyrambel, apparently a fictitious name. 

1. 8. they both made two, &c., they each made an expedition. 
they of Tyrambel. The account of the expedition from 
Atlantis to Europe is drawn from Plato's Timaeus. 

1. 23. entailed, caught in his toils, entrapped. The word is 
used by Keats and Browning. 

1. 32. not by a great earthquake. Bacon here diverges from 
the tradition followed by Plato, because he wishes to identify 
the great Atlantis with America, and he supposes, quite 
erroneously, that the latter is little subject to earthquakes. 

1. 35. greater rivers. _ The Mississippi and the Amazon are 
the two longest rivers in the world. 

higher mountains. Aconcagua (23,393 ft.), the highest 
mountain in the Andes, is exceeded by several peaks of the 

Page 149, 1. 12. So as, wherefore ; cf. p. 152, 1. 19. 

I. 14. account, Sec. : suggested by the saying of the Egyptian 
priest in Plato's Timaeus, 22 B, that the Greeks are a young 
people, because they have lost their ancient civilization. 


1. 22. civility, civilization. 

1. 25. tigers. By the tiger he probably means the jaguar, 
which, however, is more like a large leopard. Under the term 
' goats ' Bacon probably refers to the alpaca and vicuna, 
goat-Uke animals of the camel family, the hair of which has 
long been used by the Peruvians for weaving. 

1. 31. feathers of birds. The use of feathers for persanal 
adornment is characteristic of many North American peoples. 

1. 34. by this main accident of time, through this greatest 
catastrophe in history. 

Page 150, 1. 7. brook, endure ; in the Latin version ' tolerare '. 

1. 24. inscrutable for good, the goodness of which could not 
be searched out, or fathomed. Cf. Proverbs xxv. 3. 

1. 27. substantive, independent, self-supporting. 

1. 32. transportations from port to port, coastwise traffic. 

Page 151, 1. 12. an ancient law. The Chinese Govern- 
ment from a very early period sought to restrict foreign 
settlement. This policy was abandoned by the Mongol 
emperors (1232-1368), but revived by the native Ming dynasty. 

1. 25. estate, state, body politic. 

Page 152, 1. 3. Chineses. For this old form of the plural 
cf. Milton, Paradise Lost iii. 438. 

1. 16. creatures, inanimate as well as animate things. 

1. 19. denominate of, named after. 

1.22. that Natural History. Cf. I Kings iv. 33. 

1. 23. Libanus, the Latin form of the Hebrew Lebanon. 
moss : the word rendered hyssop in i Kings iv. 33 denotes 
some unknown herb, evidently very small. 

1. 25. symbolize . . . with, correspond to, agree with. The 
account of Solamona perhaps alludes to James I, who was 
called by his flatterers the British Solomon, on account of 
his learning and pacific policy. Bacon himself repeatedly 
compares him with the Hebrew king. 

Page 153, 1. 14. inventions, including ' discoveries ' 

1. 22. contained, prevented ; properly, held back, restrained. 

1. 24. colour themselves, disguise themselves. 

Page 154. Salomon's House. This account must be read 
in connexion with Bacon's Novum Organum. The object of 
the collections here described is to ascertain how the forces of 
nature operate, in order to obtain control over them. 

1.18. the depth of a hill, &c. It makes no difference to the 
physical effects whether the cave is at the bottom of a shaft 
in a plain, or at the end of a tunnel under a hill. 

1. 21. coagulations, indurations, cases or kinds of coagulation, 
and of hardening or solidification. This use of abstract nouns 
in the plural, rare in modern English, is common in Bacon. 

Bacon is not altogether wrong in regarding precious stones 
as ' coagulations '. Real though minute diamonds were 
formed by the French chemist Moissan about 1890 by liquefy- 
ing carbon dissolved in molten iron under enormous pressure, 
and suddenlv cooline it. 

igo iMUiJis 

1.32. as the Chineses do their porcelain. Chinese porcelain, 
which was known in England as early as 1506, excited great 
wonder, as its composition was unknown. 

Page 155, 1. i. composts, prepared manures. 

1. 9. insolation, exposure to the sun. 

1. 12. meteors : in the original sense of the word, including 
all phenomena of the air. Cf. meteorology. 

]. 25. enforcing, intensifying. 

1. 26. on going, in motion ; motions, pieces of mechanism : 
cf. p. 115, 1. 27. 

1. 29. tincted upon, impregnated with, containing a tinc- 
ture of. 

brass, perhaps here used for copper, as in Deuteronomy 
viii. 9 (A. V.) : ' Out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.' 

1- 33- Water of Paradise. Bacon devoted much attention 
to the problem of prolonging life. 

Page 156, 1. 3. bodies, solids : e. g. sand and volcanic dust. 

1. 4. generations of bodies in air : a widespread belief in 
Bacon's time. 

1. 20. conclusions, experiments : obsolete, except in the 
phrase ' to try conclusions with '. 

1. 21. inoculating, budding. 

Page157, 1. 2. take light, gain enlightenment. Vivisection 
was rarely practised in and before Bacon's time. 

1. 9. kind, nature. 

1. 20. basilisks, a kind of large cannon, named from the 
fabulous serpent of that name. 

1. 26. ships and boats for going under water. John Napier 
of Merchiston, the famous mathematician, announced in 1596, 
when a Spanish invasion was feared, various military inven- 
tions, including ' devices of sailing under the water '. The 
modern submarine dates from about 1887. 

brooking of seas, i. e. resisting the force of the waves. 

1. 28. motions of return, machines depending on any regu- 
larly recurring or cyclical movement. 

Page158, 1. 3. and their fallacies '. the object appears to 
be to arm men against imposture and quackery. 

1. 23. practices which are not brought into arts, such processes 
as are carried on in a rude, unmethodical manner. 

1. 24. Mystery-men. The word mystery, in the sense of an 
art or craft, is the Middle English misiere, from Old French 
mestier (Mod. French metier), from Latin ministerium, service. 
The functions of ' Merchants of Light ', ' Depredatours ', 
and ' Mystery-Men ' are in part fulfilled by the editors of 
scientific year-books and other periodicals. 

1. 27. draw . . . into titles, arrange under heads, classify. 

1. 31. bend themselves, apply themselves. 

1. 35. natural divinations, means of discovering the secrets 
of Nature, without preternatural aid. 

Page 159, 1. 3. consults, consultations. 

1. 10. Inoculators : literally, persons who bud trees. 



1. 13. Interpreters of Nature. The Novum Organum opens 
with, the words, ' Homo, naturae minister et interpres ' ' man, 
the servant and interpreter of nature '. 

1. 28. the West Indies : used originally not only of the 
islands, but of North and South America. The name is due 
to the idea that the discoverers had reached eastern Asia. 

1. 29. your Monk. This may refer either to Roger Bacon 
or to Berthold Schwarz, both of whom, however, were Fran- 
ciscan friars. 

1. 35. sugars. Cane sugar was the only kind known in 
Bacon's time. He probably uses the plural to include any 
similar sweet substances. 

Page 160, 1. 8. touchstone, fine-grained dark hard schist, 
or jasper, used for testing gold and silver alloys. It would be 
difficult to use it for statues. 

1. 20. temperature, not merely the amount of heat, but of 
moisture as well ; properly ' mixture ' or ' composition '. 

Henry VII 

The facsimile of the title-page is reduced. The original 
volume is a small folio. 

Page 162, 1. 3. fit for a common-place, easily reduced to 
a formula, typical, a locus communis being an observation 
that will cover a number of cases ; fit for observation, requiring 
examination and careful study. 

1. II. Savoy, built by Peter, Earl of Savoy, uncle to Eleanor 
the wife of Henry III, destroyed by the Kentish rebels in 
1381, and rebuilt as a hospital by Henry VII about 1509. 

1. 27. Earl of Lincoln, supporter of Lambert Simnel, slain 
at Stoke in 1487. 

Lord Audley, supporter of Perkin Warbeck and leader 
of the Cornish rebels, captured at Blackheath in 1497 and 

1. 29. Brittaine. The last Duke, Francis, was killed at the 
battle of St. Aubin in 1481. His wife Anne afterwards married 
Charles VIII of France. 

1. 31. Lord Lovell, attainted 1485, rose against Henry in 
i486 ; he fought at Stoke in 1487. 

Page 163, 1. 21. Edward, Earl of Warwick, son of George, 
Duke of Clarence, was unjustly executed in 1501, for sharing 
in Perkin Warbeck's attempt to escape from the Tower. 

Sir WiUiam Stanley, the Lord Chamberlain, was exe- 
cuted for his share in Perkin Warbeck's conspiracy. 

1. 23. instead of numbers, equivalent to a number of people. 

Page 164, 1. 7. discharge, relieve from responsibility. 

1. 23. a golden fleece, the order of the Golden Fleece instituted 
by Philip of Burgundy in 1429. One of the most famous 
Knightly Orders in Europe, it exercised great influence first 
under the Dukes of Burgundy and then under the Hapsburgs. 
There were only twenty-four members, and places in the order 
were much coveted. Prince Henry was made a member in 1506. 

192 NOTES 

Page 165, 1. 7. His Queen, Elizabeth of York, the eldest 
daughter of Edward IV. 

1. 10. His mother: Margaret Beaufort, great grand-daughter 
of John, Duke of Lancaster. 

1. 14. Foxe : Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester. 

1. 23. strangeness, appearance of unfriendliness. 

1. 32. airs, confidential information. 

Page 166, 1. 5. admirable, wonderful. 

1. 13. liegers, resident ambassadors. 

1. 24. casting, contriving. 

1. 30. fiies, spies ; cf. Fr. mouche. 

Page 168, 1. 7. dependencies, groups of people dependent 
on this or that prince or noble. 

1. 30. Cardinal Hadrian, Adrian de Castello, English Am- 
bassador at Rome and Bishop of Bath and Wells. 

1. 34. Francis Marsin and John Stile were sent in 1504 
on commissions of inquiry about the young widowed Queen 
of Naples, whom Henry, himself a widower, then thought of 

Page 169, 1. 31. watches, precautions. 

Page 170, 1. 2. consort, concert, agreement. 

1. 4. tres magi, the Three Wise Men. 

1. 6. long of, along of, because of. 

1. 7. just, regular, normal. 

1. 19. Margaret Beaufort, the great benefactress of Oxford 
and Cambridge Universities, married (i) Edmund Tudor, 
(2) Henry Stafford, (3) Lord Stanley, afterwards Earl of Derby.